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Thoughts on a 6-2 Rangers win

Rangers 6, BoSox 2

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 6, BoSox 2

  • So after the awful, gutwrenching disaster that was Friday’s ninth inning, where the Rangers blew a 3 run lead and lost a game that looked like a blowout, Texas was so discombobulated by the loss that they outscored Boston 16-5 over the next two games, taking the series.
  • Martin Perez started today, and had your standard issue 2016 Martin Perez start: struggled throwing strikes, didn’t miss many bats, but still kept runs off the board and put up a quality start. Watching the game, it felt like Perez started every plate appearance 1-0 or 2-0, though he actually just started 1-0 on 16 of the 25 batters he faced...but as he’s done all year, he managed to induce balls in play that turned into outs. His end line was 6 IP, 6 hits, 2 walks, 2 Ks, and 1 run allowed, on a home run by Bryce Brentz.
  • Matt Bush pitched the seventh and most of the eighth, retiring the side in order in the seventh before running into trouble in the eighth. Bush walked Dustin Pedroia to lead off the 8th, despite what appeared to be a couple of strikes that were called balls, and then allowed a Xander Bogaerts single. A fielder’s choice and a fly out meant that with two outs there were runners on the corners, and David Ortiz, who had started the day on the bench, was sent up to hit for Brentz. That prompted Jeff Banister to go get Jake Diekman, despite his earlier statement that Diekman wouldn’t pitch today. Diekman allowed an RBI single, but retired Travis Shaw on an F9 to end the inning. Shawn Tolleson pitched a scoreless ninth, and everyone on, or rooting for, the Rangers went home happy.
  • Texas got on the board early, getting three runs home against Clay Buchholz before an out was even recorded. Texas registered four straight singles to start the game before Prince Fielder walked, and then the fifth single, off the bat of Rougned Odor, meant the bases were loaded with no one out and three runs in. It looked like a chance for the Rangers to boatrace Boston, but Elvis Andrus grounded into a 5-2-3 GIDP, and then after Mitch Moreland was walked, Bryan Holaday flew out to end the inning. It was a big inning to start the game, but you came aware feeling like it could have been much bigger, and worrying that the failure to push more runs across the board might come back to haunt the Rangers...of course, as it turns out, Texas could have not scored the rest of the way and still won today.
  • Buchholz settled down and seemingly was in cruise control until the sixth, when Adrian Beltre reached on an E6. Prince made Boston pay for the error, crushing a laser beam line drive down the right field line and into the wedge in right, a ball that Daren Willman of Statcast said had a hang time of just 3.88 seconds. To put that in perspective, a 3.9 from home to first for a lefty hitter is considered an “8” on the scouting scale, so Prince’s home run left the park in less time that it takes for a speedy runner to get to first base.
  • The final Ranger run of the game came in the seventh, when Choo had a one out double, then went to third on a passed ball. After Nomar Mazara was walked intentionally with two out, Beltre singled Choo home for the final tally.
  • The production was very top-heavy today...the first six spots in the linup went 10 for 21 with 6 runs, 6 RBIs, and 3 walks. The final three spots were 0 for 8, albeit with 4 walks.
  • May be noteworthy, may not be noteworthy, but Jurickson Profar sat again today. With Mitch Moreland and Prince Fielder heating up of late, its harder to make the case that one of those guys must sit regularly for Profar, but on the other hand, the Rangers have said that Profar needs to play regularly to stay up, and Jurickson has started on the bench in seven of the team’s last ten games. Profar did hit for Holaday in the eighth inning today, and it will be interesting to see how the Rangers manage his playing time moving forward.
  • Texas now is effectively tied with the Cubs for the best record in the majors — the Cubs are a couple of percentage points ahead, but they are an equal number of games over .500. Texas has the most wins in the majors, and is ten games up in the A.L. West.
  • Winning is fun, y’all...