Rangers 6, Astros 5
- So is this what it feels like, being another team's nemesis?
- This was one of those games that felt like it was going to slip away. Colby Lewis wasn't that sharp -- he picked up a Quality Start, even though he gave up four runs in six innings, because just three of those runs were earned. But it constantly felt like he was on the verge of being knocked out of the game...three of the runs scored when Jose Altuve took him deep in the third, but it just seemed like he was always in trouble.
- But Colby is Colby, and he gets out of it, and that's why, even when he gives up 8 hits and has a pair of walks issued over six innings, it all seems to work out.
- Tony Barnette gave up his first run in what seems like a long time, courtesy of a walk and a wild pitch and a single, in the top of the 7th. Really, though, that just sort of felt like making up for the top of the sixth, when the Astros loaded the bases on a Jurickson Profar error, a Prince Fielder error, and a Jason Castro walk, only to see no one score when George Springer and Jose Altuve each popped out.
- The other reason this felt like a game that might slip away is that the Rangers actually had Houston starter Mike Fiers on the ropes in the top of the first, only to let him escape. The Astros actually had Chris Devenski warming up in the first inning, as the Rangers got three runs home with one out in the inning. Jurickson Profar led off with a triple, and scored on an Ian Desmond infield single. Nomar Mazara singled, putting runners on the corners, and then a wild pitch brought Desmond home. After Rougned Odor reached on an error by Marwin Gonzalez, who couldn't find first base when receiving a throw, Prince Fielder singled home Mazara, and there were runners on the corners again with one out. Ryan Rua then hit a hard shot that was caught by Altuve for the second out, and then Altuve robbed Elvis of a hit with a diving catch behind second. What seemed like a big inning instead was just a sort of big inning, which didn't seem like a problem, until Altuve's homer...
- Elvis was 0 for 3 with a walk today, but two of the outs were hard hit balls that were caught for line outs, and the other was a deep fly into the gap in right center that was run down. Elvis is due a couple of bloop hits tomorrow from the Luck Dragons.
- On the other hand, Elvis also made a spectacular diving stop on a Carlos Correa grounder in the hole in the top of the fifth, throwing to second just in time to nip Altuve, so you know...the Luck Dragons giveth, and the Luck Dragons taketh away.
- As goET noted in his post game post, the Astros must really hate Rougned Odor. Just today, he homered in the bottom of the third to give Texas a 4-3 lead, then hit a sac fly in the seventh to bring home Nomar Mazara and tie the game back up right after Houston had taken the lead in the top of the inning, and then walked it off with a double in the ninth that scored Adrian Beltre, who had reached on a fielder's choice.
- That double, man...it was the capper on a night of shoddy Astros defense. It was actually set up the play before, when, with Mazara on first and one out, Beltre hit what looked like a tailor-made double play ball to Carlos Correa. Correa bobbled it for just a moment, however, which was sufficient to allow Beltre to beat the throw to first, and extend the inning. And then, Odor's double...I have no idea what Colby Rasmus was thinking out there. Here's what I tweeted:
So, like, did Colby Rasmus think if he just ran THRU the left field wall like the Kool-Aid Man, it would count as an out?— Adam J. Morris (@lonestarball) June 7, 2016
- Seriously, though...Rasmus just seemed to be oblivious to the fact that there was a wall there. You've got Adrian Beltre on first base, who runs like a garbage truck with a wheel about to fall off, and yet there wasn't even a play at the plate because Rasmus ran into the wall rather than playing the ball off the wall. It was bizarre. And yet, so fitting for a Rangers/Astros game in Arlington.
- Aside from Odor, who was 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs, Nomar Mazara also had a big game, going 4 for 4 with a HBP. Ian Desmond had two hits. So did Prince Fielder, who was back in the lineup and playing first base, although Prince got pulled for defense in the 8th.
- I have been told that the Rangers' 35-22 record is their best ever after 57 games. In the meantime, the Astros are now 8 games back of the Rangers, the Angels are 9 games back, and the A's are 10 games back. Oh, and Seattle just lost, so the second place M's are four back. Not bad, for a team many seemed to be viewing as kind of a fluke last year when they won the division...