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Thoughts on a 6-3 Rangers win

Rangers 6, Angels 3

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

Rangers 6, Angels 3

  • Well, a couple of games ago, we were baffled by Jeff Banister’s decision to pull Yu Darvish in the middle of a difficult inning with a low pitch count, when he had been cruising much of the game. Flash forward, and in this game, Yu walked the bases loaded with one out in the sixth inning, had a pitch count that was fairly high, and yet Banister stuck with him, being rewarded with Yu retiring the final two batters and and stranding all three runners. Baseball is weird sometimes.
  • Yu was victimized by an extraordinarily tight strike zone, which contributed to him needing 125 pitches — the most he’s thrown since May, 2014, and the most any starter has thrown in the majors this year -- to get through six innings. One of the apparently missed calls would have been a strike three to Mike Trout in the fourth — the extra chance allowed Trout to double in a run, and Trout ultimately scored. But for that, Yu doesn’t allow any runs in this game.
  • Regardless, the final line for Yu was 6 IP, 10 Ks, 4 walks, 3 hits, and 2 runs. Not bad at all. Yu has a 2.79 ERA on the year now.
  • Jose Leclerc pitched a perfect 7th inning, striking out one, and I continue to marvel at the fact that Leclerc is apparently a solid and reliable bullpen weapon this year.
  • Keone Kela allowed a couple of hits in the 8th, the first hits he’s allowed in the majors this season, but it all worked out as he didn’t allow any runs.
  • Matt Bush pitched the 9th, and his defense tried to make things scary behind him. Ben Revere led off with a grounder that Joey Gallo made a great diving stop on; however, his throw was low, Mike Napoli couldn’t scoop it, and Revere ended up at second. After a ground out moved Revere to third, Cliff Pennington lifted a routine fly ball to left...that Delino DeShields just flat dropped. Runner scored, Pennington was on first, and it was 6-3, thanks to two errors. Fortunately, Bush retired the next two batters, and the Rangers won, and everyone went home happy.
  • Gallo has picked up three errors the past two games on throws, although in each case, the first baseman deserved at least some of the blame, as they were throws that the first baseman should have made a play on. In any case, Gallo has looked much more agile and capable at the hot corner this year than I had expected.
  • Offensively, the Rangers were quiet until the fifth inning, when they jumped on Jesse Chavez and erased the Angels’ 2-0 lead. Jonathan Lucroy had a one out double, but appeared in danger of being stranded after Delino couldn’t advance him while making the second out. A Nomar Mazara two out single brought Lucroy home, however, and then a Carlos Gomez triple tied the score. Rougned Odor then gave Texas the lead with a home run off the right field foul pole, giving Texas a 4-2 lead.
  • Gomez provided some insurance in the 7th inning with a two run homer, which also completed the cycle for him -- the first time a Ranger has hit for the cycle since Adrian Beltre in 2015.
  • Every Ranger had a hit or a walk today except for Mike Napoli and Joey Gallo, who were each 0 for 4 with a K. Napoli’s continuing struggles are becoming worrisome, if not alarming, and you have to wonder if the Rangers are going to start giving Jurickson Profar or Ryan Rua some more starts at first base.
  • Particularly encouraging as well was Shin-Soo Choo going 2 for 3 with a walk. He’s quietly gotten his slash line up to .275/.398/.406. I’m curious as to how long he’s going to stay at the bottom of the order, when the #4 and #5 hitters are each sporting OBPs south of .250.
  • Anyway, good win, and Texas looks to take the series today.