Astros 6, Rangers 2
- Its deja vu all over again. The Rangers don’t do much offensively, still get a slim lead, and then see it lost in the late innings.
- Andrew Cashner didn’t seem all that sharp, but pitched well enough, allowing just 1 (unearned) run through 6 innings. Then he led off the 7th with a walk, gave up an infield single to the next batter, both runners advanced when Rougned Odor couldn’t, or wouldn’t, come off the bag to try to catch Elvis Andrus’s attempted throw to second, and then the floodgates opened.
- Tony Barnette was brought into the game, and he’s not a strikeout guy, which is what you’d think you’d want with runners on second and third and no outs. Jeff Banister said after the game they liked his experience coming in with runners on base, ability to get ground balls, and ability to strike batters out, but Barnette’s career K rate (20% heading into last night’s game) is below the 21.5% K rate for the A.L. as a whole. I suspect that Barnette was the guy warming, and once Cashner had to be pulled, they had to go with Barnette.
- Things fell apart after that, and you can carp at Banister for not having a strikeout guy like Keone Kela ready, but then, with runners on second and third and no outs, a run is likely going to score anyway. Or you can blame the defense, with Nomar Mazara dropping an easy fly to allow a run, Elvis getting an error on the throw in the 7th, and Delino DeShields not making a play on a catchable ball later in the inning that went for a double. Or you can blame Barnette for not getting guys out.
- But you can also blame an offense that scored just two runs, and continues to perform in fits and starts. The reality is that this team isn’t playing real great right now. This is a better team than what they’ve shown, especially over the last week, but if they don’t start playing better pretty quick, that may not matter.
- In any case, this is just game one of a four game series. It was the one with the most difficult pitching matchup for the Rangers. It was the game Texas was least likely to win. They can still do good things in this series...still, it hurts to have a game they were in position to win slip away like that.