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Thoughts on a 7-2 Rangers win

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Rangers 7, Red Sox 2

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 7, Red Sox 2

  • So...this was a game where Texas jumped up early, and seemed to be in position to get a big lead in the first and make it an easy game.
  • Then, after scoring just a couple of runs, with A.J. Griffin struggling, it felt like a game that the Rangers were going to let slip away.
  • Then, it felt like a game the Rangers might hang on and win, but in nerve-racking fashion.
  • Then, the Rangers put a bunch of runs on the board late, and turned it into a blowout in terms of the final score.  But really, it never felt that way.
  • Let's start with Griffin...it was not a good game for Griffin, who faced 22 batters and allowed half of them to reach, on 7 hits, 3 walks and an HBP.  Yet, despite all the runners, Griffin keep wriggling out of james.  Boston led off hte first with a pair of singles, and then the next three batters popped out.  Jackie Bradley Jr. led off the second with a home run, then Boston got a double and a single with one out, but a K and a fielder's choice ended the inning.  In the third, it was "just" a HBP and a steal with two outs, but again, the runner was stranded.
  • Things looked to be bad in the fourth inning...Brock Holt led off the inning with a double, and Travis Shaw then singled to right.  Shin-Soo Choo overthrew the cutoff man, with Holt holding, and Shaw opted to try for second, but was cut down, meaning Choo's mistake actually got the Rangers an out.  A Sandy Leon K made it appear that Griffin might escape unscathed again, but at that point, Griffin issued three straight walks, forcing in a run and bringing up David Ortiz with the bases loaded and two outs in a tie game.  Cesar Ramos was warming, but Jeff Banister stuck with Griffin, who rewarded the manager's confidence by eliciting a groundout to Rougned Odor in medium deep right field.
  • After that, things settled down...Cesar Ramos, Shawn Tolleson, Jake Diekman, and Matt Bush combined for four shutout innings, the final three of which involved protecting a one run lead.  Sam Dyson warmed in the top of the ninth, preparing for a one run save opportunity, and when Texas busted it open with four runs, he went ahead and pitched the ninth anyway, since he was already warm, and despite two hits to start the inning, registered a scoreless ninth.
  • It was another game where the Rangers had runners, and runs, in the first, but which you came away from thinking it was a missed opportunity.  Choo started the game with a home run, and then a single-steal-walk-single sequence loaded the bases for Prince Fielder.  Prince struck out, although, as was pointed out to me by several folks on Twitter, he didn't hit into a GIDP, so that was something.  Elvis Andrus brought home a run with a sac fly, and then Rougned Odor grounded out to end the inning.  Two runs to start the game is a good thing, though in that situation, you couldn't help but feel there should've been more.  Though as it turned out, it didn't matter.
  • The Rangers got runners in the second and third but didn't score, and then Price retired the side in order in the fourth and in the fifth, making it appear that the Rangers had missed their opportunity.  However, the Rangers had a secret weapon -- Elvis Andrus facing off against David Price.  With one out in the sixth, Elvis singled, his second hit of the night off of Price, and when Rougned Odor hit a deep blast to left-center, Elvis came around to score, with Odor getting a double and advancing to third on the throw home.
  • Then came a weird play that we would be grousing about if the Rangers had lost...Jurickson Profar hit a chopper back to the mound.  Price checked Odor, then threw to first, at which point Odor broke home.  However, Odor couldn't slide into home, because the bat was right in front of the plate at the third base side, and home plate umpire Joe West didn't clear it from play...so instead of sliding in, and likely being safe, Odor had to try to jump over the tag, and was instead out.
  • Anyway, it didn't matter...Price retired the side in the seventh and eighth, setting the stage for Craig Kimbrel to pitch the ninth down one, and Kimbrel was awful.  He walked Elvis to start the ninth, then gave up a single to Odor.  Profar singled home Elvis, and then Robinson Chirinos hit a three run homer over the Monster, making it a 7-2 game and chasing Kimbrel.
  • Thus was the final margin of victory established.
  • The one bit of bad news from today was that Choo was lifted due to back stiffness, continuing his trend of being unable to stay on the field.  Choo has been dealing with back issues since he came to Texas, and likely will until he retires, so the question is whether this is something that he can deal with and be back in a day or two, or if this is something that will land him on the d.l.
  • Before Choo left the game, he had a pair of hits, a home run and a single.  Odor and Profar each had two hit games, as well, while Elvis had a single, a double, a sac fly, and a walk.  The only Ranger starters without hits were Prince and Beltre, though Beltre did draw a walk.
  • Houston beat Seattle, so the Rangers are 7.5 games up on Houston, and 9.5 games up on Seattle.
  • Texas is still in position to take the series tomorrow, behind Martin Perez.