Indians 8, Rangers 5
- That game was fun until it wasn’t.
- On the pitching side of things, it was pretty straightforward. Yu Darvish struggled with his fastball command, and when you don’t have your fastball command, it is hard to throw good strikes. Darvish walked five batters, and while one local columnist used this after the game to support his proclamation that Darvish should be immediately traded (aside from not having “it,” Darvish is afraid to throw strikes, the columnist said), this isn’t a matter of being afraid to throw strikes. It is a matter of Darvish sometimes not having command, and not being able to throw strikes with his fastball. We’ve seen Darvish enough to know this problem strikes from time to time, and it happened today.
- Still, Darvish had the Rangers in a position to win, turning the game over to Matt Bush in the 7th with a 5-4 lead. Bush escaped the 7th, but allowed an Edwin Encarnacion one out home run in the 8th to make it a 5-5 game.
- Then disaster struck in the 9th. Sam Dyson came into the game to keep it tied at 5, and got knocked around. Single, ground out, run scoring single, run scoring double, ground out, run scoring single, and Dyson was lifted from the game having turned a tie into a three run deficit. Alex Claudio got the final out to end things, but the damage was done.
- A local radio guy tweeted that this was the problem with bringing a closer into a tie game, that the closer doesn’t have the same mindset as he does in a save situation, and thus isn’t going to be as good. I don’t buy that in general, but in particular, with someone like Dyson, who has been a closer for less than a season, and who was a setup guy before that...if he would have been fine in a tie game in the 9th a year ago, when he was the 8th inning guy, how is it his mindset has so dramatically changed in less than a year that he can’t handle the situation now?
- Yu allowed a couple of runs on a two run home run, but both of the other two runs he allowed were weird. With Carlos Santana on second and Abraham Almonte on third with one out in the third inning, Francisco Lindor lifted a fly ball to left field. Jurickson Profar threw home, but the throw was cut off because Santana had just run to third base. The throw to second doubled off Santana, but Almonte crossed home before that, so that run counted.
- The fourth run Darvish gave up was in the 7th, when, with Diaz on third and one out, he got Almonte to strike out swinging on a wicked breaking ball in the dirt. It was so wicked, in fact, that Jonathan Lucroy couldn’t block it, resulting in it going to the backstop and allowing Diaz to score, with Almonte going to first. That was Darvish’s last batter — Bush relieved him at that point.
- As far as the bats go, all five Ranger runs scored on home runs -- four via a solo shot and a three run shot by Rougned Odor, one from a Carlos Gomez solo home run. Nomar Mazara had a pair of hits, Elvis Andrus had a double and a triple, and Joey Gallo, starting in place of Adrian Beltre, went 0 for 3 with a couple of Ks, a walk and a stolen base, and a rocket down the first base line that Encarnacion made a nice play on. Gallo saw a total of 23 pitches in four at bats, and even on the two Ks he battled and made the pitcher work. There were signs of progress from him today.
- Anyway, it is one game out of 162. Disappointing loss, but there’s going to be disappointing losses in the course of the season. Let’s see if Martin Perez can get the Rangers to .500 on Tuesday.