Rangers 2, Indians 1
- So one day after Cole Hamels and Carlos Carrasco each get shelled in a slugfest, we have off-the-d.l. and looked-shaky-recently Tyson Ross up against Mike Clevinger...so of course, today is a pitchers duel.
- I’m a Tyson Ross skeptic, but you can't argue with how he performed today, going six innings, allowing just one run on a pair of hits and a pair of walks, striking out five. If the Rangers are going to contend or a Wild Card spot, they need a useful Tyson Ross. And if they aren't going to contend, they need to trade pieces, and need to get something for a useful Tyson Ross.
- Perhaps the most encouraging development of the evening, though, was the bullpen. Jose Leclerc pitched a scoreless seventh, started the eighth, and hit Carlos Santana, resulting in Keone Kela coming in. Kela retired the side in the eighth, then Matt Bush came in and finished up the ninth. Three guys who throw really hard, who are under team control for a while, doing work. I suspect that Jeff Banister’s preferred late inning alignment right now is Leclerc-Kela-Bush, and these three pitching well the rest of the way would be meaningful not just for this year, but for 2018 and beyond.
- As far as the offense goes, Texas had just three hits all game...but hey, the Indians had just three hits all game, too. The difference is that two of the three hits from Texas were of the four-base variety, as Robinson Chirinos and Adrian Beltre each had solo home runs. Chirinos had his in his fifth, tying the game, and Beltre had his in the ninth, giving Texas the lead.
- We have talked about Robinson Chirinos before, but I continue to marvel about what a weird, breakout year he's having. He has more home runs than singles, has become the preferred game-caller behind the plate, and is generally one of the neater phenomena from 2017.
- Oh, and that Adrian Beltre guy? He's pretty good, too...