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Thoughts on a 7-4 Rangers loss

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Jays 7, Rangers 4

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays 7, Rangers 4

  • Not a good day for Cole Hamels, whose dip in velocity and command issues have been talked about a fair amount in 2018 already. Five batters into the game, it looked like it would be a Toronto blowout, as Steven Pearce led off the game with a home run, and then after a Josh Donaldson K, a single-single-home run sequence meant it was 4-0 Jays with one out in the first. Hamels looked like he was going to get run in the third inning, when, after Donaldson flew out to start the inning, there was a single-walk-single-infield single sequence that brought another run home, though Hamels got Randal Grichuk to bounce into a 5-3 double play to end the inning.
  • Hamels did get run in the 6th inning, though it wasn’t entirely his fault. Elvis Andrus made his second throwing error of the day on a grounder from leadoff hitter Kevin Pillar, who was balked to second after Grichuk fanned. A Luke Maile double made it a 6-1 game, and meant the end for Hamels, who was relieved by Chris Martin. Martin allowed a two out single to Curtis Granderson to bring in the second run of the inning.
  • Final line for Hamels was 5.1 IP, 7 runs (5 earned), 8 hits (including 2 home runs), 2 walks, and 5 Ks.
  • It did set the stage for a Bartolo Colon relief appearance, though, and Colon didn’t disappoint. He pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth, striking out four, and allowing a single hit before giving way to Alex Claudio, who threw a scoreless ninth.
  • The funny, or frustrating, or something, thing about all this is that despite the big early hole, Texas had a chance to come back. They got their first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning, on a double-sac bunt-single sequence from Shin-Soo Choo, Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus. In the second, they had a chance to narrow the gap some more with a two out rally with a Ryan Rua double and a Carlos Tocci walk, but Choo struck out to end the inning.
  • Joey Gallo is the one guy who got things going back in the right direction after Hamels got knocked out. He come up to bat after a one out Adrian Beltre double and destroyed a pitch as only Joey Gallo, sending it 445 feet into the upper deck in right field, and making it a 7-3 game. Four runs down, three innings to go, this was a comebackable game.
  • Alas...Texas repeatedly had chances, and missed on them. In the bottom of the seventh, Carlos Tocci got his first major league hit, a single to center, then was forced out at second on a Choo grounder. Rougned Odor hit a roller the other way that went past third and down the line for a double, putting runners on second and third, and then Elvis walked, bringing up Adrian Beltre as the tying run with one out. Beltre struck out, however, and Gallo popped out, ending the threat.
  • Texas pushed a run across in the 8th and loaded the bases again, but couldn’t break through. This time, a Robinson Chirinos walk, followed by a Nomar Mazara one out single, brought pinch hitter Drew Robinson to the plate. Robinson popped out for the second out, but Choo singled home a run, and then Odor drew a HBP to load the bases for Elvis, representing the go-ahead run. Sadly, Elvis did not leave the building, or even the infield, getting down quickly 0-2 before a check-swing resulted in a meek grounder back to the mound, ending the inning. A 1-2-3 ninth meant the game, and series, went to Toronto.
  • This was a frustrating game on a number of levels. Hamels showed signs once again that he’s just another guy at this point in his career, and its a punch in the gut to have a big number go up against you in the first inning. Elvis, who has been great so far, had the two errors, one meaningless, one significant, and then couldn’t redeem himself at the plate later in the game. The offense got baserunners on late in the game, but the hitters couldn’t cash them in. Its the type of game that every team has over the course of the season, but when its early, and the team isn’t going well, it seems to be more portentious.
  • Texas starts a three game set against Anaheim on Monday, and then has the first off day of the season on Thursday. Texas needs a sweep to be at .500 on the off day.