- One of the things I’ve mentioned quite a bit so far this season is that, for all the talk before the season about the Rangers being abysmal because their pitching staff was “historically bad,” the pitching has been generally mediocre this season, while the offense, which was expected to be okay, has been historically bad.
- That was not the case in this series.
- Over the three game series that the Rangers took, 2 games to 1, the Rangers gave up 24 runs -- that’s really bad. The Rangers also scored 23 runs — that’s really good.
- Doug Fister, tonight’s starter, is one of the pitchers who, up to this point, had exceeded expectations. Today, though, was a disaster for Fister. The first inning was a vexing experience, as he allowed 3 runs in an unusual fashion. With one out, Aaron Judge grounded to Jurickson Profar, whose throwing error allowed him to reach safely. Didi Gregious promptly homered, making it a 2-0 game. Giancarlo Stanton reached on an infield single, Aaron Hicks singled, and then after a fly out, Miguel Andujar reached on an infield single, loading the bases with two out. Austin Romine was walked, forcing in a run, and bringing up Gleyber Torres, who has terrorized the Rangers this series, but somehow, he didn’t cash in this time, allowing the Rangers to escape down “just” 3-0.
- A Neil Walker solo shot in the third game the Yankees their fourth run, but the Rangers managed to put some runs on the board, and it was 5-4 in the top of the fifth. Fister retired Hicks on a flyout, then went single, double, single before Torres mashed a home run against Fister, chasing him from the game down 8-5. Tony Barnette came into the game and gave up a Brett Gardner double and an Aaron Judge home run that was measured at 471 feet, making it 10-5, and seemingly sending the Yankees on the way to an easy win.
- Of course, it wasn’t an easy win, and the Rangers shut down the Yankees the rest of the way. Alex Claudio fanned 3 batters in 1.2 IP, Jose Leclerc got the only guy he faced, Chris Martin pitched a scoreless 8th despite being charged with an HBP of Stanton that was challenged, unsuccessfully, even though no one really thinks Stanton was hit, and Keone Kela struck out the side in the 9th. Good job, winning pieces of the bullpen.
- The offense got back into the game in the fourth inning, when Nomar Mazara hit a two run home run and Ronald Guzman had that momentum-shifting, two out, three run home run. Mazara’s home run was on an 0-2 pitch, his first career 0-2 home run off a lefthander. There’s a certain synchronicity in this pair both going deep against Sabathia today, in a season about growth and rebuilding with youth for the Rangers — they were the two stars of the team’s huge J-2 signing class in 2011, with the Rangers paying a combined $8.5 million to land them. Seven years later, we are seeing that investment pay off.
- After the Yankees made it 10-5, Texas chipped away in the bottom of the fifth, with Isiah Kiner-Falefa tripling home Shin-Soo Choo, and then scoring on a Mazara infield single. That set the stage for the bottom of the sixth, when the Rangers took the lead back for good.
- Chasen Shreve started the sixth of the Yankees, and when singles by Guzman and Delino DeShields started off the inning (sandwiched around a Carlos Perez K), Aaron Boone went with David Robertson to put out the fire. Robertson walked Choo, loading the bases, and then walked IKF, forcing in a run to make it 10-8. He then fanned Nomar, bringing up Jurickson Profar with the bases loaded and two outs...and Profar brought them all home, with a double to right that cleared the bases and made it an 11-10 game.
- While Game Winning RBIs are not an official stat anymore, Jared Sandler noted on Twitter that this was Profar’s 8th GWRBI of the season. He has a knack for being in the middle of good things this year.
- The insurance run scored in the 8th, when Delino reached on a strikeout/wild pitch, advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw, went to third on a stolen base, and then scored on an IKF single.
- Big nights for IKF, Profar, Mazara and Guzman, all of whom had a pair of hits apiece and 3 RBIs apiece -- those four drove in all the Ranger runs today. Also a very nice game for Choo, who was 2 for 3 with two walks.
- I saw a headline after the Rangers lost three of four against the ChiSox, asking what it said about this team that it lost a series to the worst team in baseball (at least, record-wise). To me, it means about as much as the fact that the Rangers just took a series against the second-best team in baseball, record-wise — not much. Its a 162 game season, bad teams will win series, good teams will lose series, and you can’t take too much out of a three or four game series.
- That said, its a lot more fun to see the Rangers winning a series against the Yankees than to see them lose a series against the White Sox.
Thoughts on a 12-10 Rangers win
Rangers 12, Yankees 10