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Thoughts on a 10-8 Rangers win

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Rangers 10, Mets 8

MLB: New York Mets at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 10, Mets 8

  • Well, that was a weird game.
  • Dillon Gee v. Jacob deGrom had Rangers fans braced for ugliness, highlighted by lots of Rangers batters striking out. Gee was replacing Nick Martinez, who would have started today but who was pressed into duty over the weekend in a relief role. And Rangers fans worried about Gee had their fears justified.
  • Gee faced 21 batters today, and gave up 8 hits (including 3 home runs) and 4 walks. Somehow, miraculously, only four runs scored in Gee’s 3.1 IP, as he got a GIDP in one inning, left the bases loaded in an inning, left two runners on in another inning, and had two ducks on the pond when he was lifted with one out in the fourth. With the Rangers likely making a move to bring up Brett Nicholas or Drew Robinson for this weekend’s series in Washington (if not sooner), Gee may have pitched himself off the active roster today.
  • Austin Bibens-Dirkx continued to fill the Ross Wolf role for the Rangers this season, the unsung journeyman vet who comes up, is pressed into duty to help patch up a bullpen that is springing leaks left and right, and does a surprisingly good job. Tonight that involved going 1.2 shutout innings, earning him his first major league win.
  • Alex Claudio continued to be Alex Claudio, coming into the game with the Rangers needing innings, and pitching three effective innings, allowing a run on 3 hits, 1 walk and 2 Ks. Claudio took the Rangers to the ninth, where the only reason Matt Bush was even called upon was because he hadn’t pitched for a while.
  • And of course, Bush had to scare us all. Given a five run lead, Bush went single-homer-homer-single-walk to start the 9th, getting all of us in a panic that the closer curse had descended on Bush, who was also battling an erratic, tight strike zone. While we were all panicking, though, Bush got a strikeout, then a 3-6-1 GIDP, and the game was over while we were hyperventilating, and everything was fine.
  • If you want to sell the idea that Matt Bush now has a “closer’s mindset,” one can point to this game and note that he didn’t pitch well with a big lead, since, supposedly, closer’s can’t pitch their best except in the 9th inning with a 1-3 run lead.
  • Meanwhile, despite everyone predicting double-digit Ks for the Rangers against deGrom, the bats came alive like Peter Frampton. deGrom ended up with the same number of strikeouts as Dillon Gee (2), while getting run after 4 innings, with 8 Rangers runs coming across.
  • The only thing I really remember from the offense were the two home runs hit, one by Joey Gallo that, per Statcast, had a 6.9 second hang time, and barely went over the right field fence...Gallo nearly stopped between first and second, seemingly thinking that Jay Bruce had caught the ball, though he missed it by inches. There was also a home run by Nomar Mazara that was much more traditional in arc and path, as part of a 4 hit night for Mazara, boosting his OPS on the season to 820.
  • Everyone got a hit tonight, even Elvis Andrus, whose 10 game hitting streak appeared over when he was retired in his fourth plate appearance of the game, but who got another chance in the 8th, and singled, getting him to 11 games. Jared Hoying had three hits, and Delino DeShields had two hits.
  • On the downside, Adrian Beltre twisted his ankle and ended up being pulled from the game, and thus the move to bring up an extra bench player (as noted above) may come tomorrow, rather than Friday, so as to have some insurance in case Beltre is achy. The move to lift Beltre was “precautionary,” but if you are getting an extra bench guy up on Friday anyway, when you are in an N.L. park and need guys who can pinch hit for the pitcher, you might as well option Gee or Bibens-Dirkx tomorrow, since they’re going to be unavailable anyway.
  • Anyway, the Rangers won, and we should be happy. Just four games below .500 now. Woo!