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Thoughts on an 8-3 Rangers win

Rangers 8, Angels 3

MLB: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 8, Angels 3

  • After a day full of bad news and gloom, talking about Sam Dyson being broken, Matt Bush having a shoulder issue, Adrian Beltre being out weeks, and Tyson Ross having a setback, it is nice to have Texas go out and beat up on the Angels.
  • A.J. Griffin didn’t look like he would make it through five early on, as he gave up a couple of runs in the second and then a bomb to Mike Trout in the third in what looked like was going to be a repeat of his first start. However, he straightened things out, settled down, and ended up going six innings, registering a Quality Start.
  • The final line for Griffin: 6 IP, 3 runs, 4 hits, 4 Ks, 1 walk. Griffin is scary to watch, but at the end of the day he did his job and put the Rangers in a position to win.
  • Interesting use of the bullpen by Jeff Banister last night, with Matt Bush in Arlington and Sam Dyson’s role in limbo. Jeremy Jeffress was brought in for the 7th inning, and faced four batters (including one in the 8th), retiring them all. Alex Claudio was brought in after Jeffress to face Kole Calhoun, gave up a double, and was pulled for Jose Leclerc. Leclerc faced the final six batters of the game, giving up a hit while striking out two.
  • Given that Jeffress has the closer history and Leclerc has very little major league experience, one would think Jeffress would be the guy saved for the end of the game and Leclerc used in the 7th, but Banister went the other way. Leclerc has the stuff to be a late inning reliever, but his control has historically been poor. He’s faced 19 batters this season without walking anyone, however, and if he keeps doing that, he’ll be pitched in key situations late in games.
  • Every Rangers starter got a hit yesterday, with Mike Napoli having a big 2 for 4 day with a walk and a home run, which hopefully is a sign he’s busting out of his season opening slump. The other Rangers with a multi-hit day yesterday? Elvis Andrus, who went 2 for 4 with his third home run of the season, raising his OPS on the year to 1175.
  • Joey Gallo, who looks like he’ll be manning third base for a while with the news that Beltre is out for weeks, was 1 for 3 with a walk and a K, and came through in a big moment in the fifth. With Texas down, 3-2, Jonathan Lucroy walked and Elvis singled, bringing Gallo up. Gallo smoked a ball to right field off of Angels starter Jesse Chavez, and when the dust cleared, both runners had scored and Gallo was on third with a triple. That gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead, and they never gave it up the rest of the way.
  • Gallo is striking out 35% of the time, which is still too high, but which has been lower after a bunch of Ks in the first series of the year. He’s been having good at bats and looks like a major leaguer. However 2017 plays out for the team, Gallo proving himself as a major league hitter this year would be huge for this franchise.
  • A nice bounceback game after the late loss Tuesday. Hopefully, we get the series finale today, and head to Seattle with a two game winning streak.