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Thoughts on a 5-3 Rangers loss

Royals 5, Rangers 3

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Royals 5, Rangers 3

  • Alas, I guess asking for two series wins in a row was too much.
  • Not a good day for Cole Hamels, although the end line could have been better. With runners on first and second and one out in the first inning, Hamels got Jorge Soler to bounce to third. Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s throw to Rougned Odor at second base was fine, but Odor needed a half-beat longer than normal to get the ball from glove to throwing hand, and that allowed Soler to beat the throw, meaning instead of the inning being over, there were runners on first and third. Soler then stole second base easily when Hamels basically ignored him, and both runners scored on Hunter Dozier’s two-run single. If Odor turns the double play, Hamels has a quality start.
  • On the other hand, while Hamels may have gotten a Quality Start if the double play had been turned, he didn’t really have a quality start overall. Hamels was, as is too often the case of late, quite hittable, and a couple of double plays and a nice running catch by Joey Gallo helped keep things from being worse for him. Hamels’ end line was 6.1 IP, 8 hits, 2 home runs, 3 walks and 2 strikeouts...and that’s the sort of line that will result in 5 runs allowed.
  • On the plus side, at least he didn’t hit anyone today.
  • Tony Barnette, Jake Diekman and Jesse Chavez combined for 2.2 scoreless innings of relief. All three are free agents at the end of the season and are likely to be shopped at the trade deadline. In related news, the Cleveland Indians gave up 5 runs in the top of the 8th to blow a big lead to Houston, only for the Astros to then give up 6 runs in the bottom of the 9th, resulting in a 13 inning game. Both of these teams will likely be looking for bullpen will, realistically, just about every other contender.
  • The Rangers’ bats had some opportunities, but ultimately couldn’t get it done. All three runs came in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Joey Gallo went deep for a home run, Rougned Odor singled, and then Robinson Chirinos homered to make it a 5-3 game.
  • Texas had an opportunity in the eighth, when Isiah Kiner-Falefa walked, went to second on a wild pitch, then third on a wild pitch, then Jurickson Profar walked. With runners on first and third and one out, Joey Gallo got up 3-0, swung and missed at a hittable pitch, fouled off the next three pitches, and then whiffed on a high fastball. Odor followed that up with a pop out, and the rally was snuffed out. In the ninth, the Rangers got the tying run to the plate with no one out after Chirinos singled to lead off the inning, but Ronald Guzman flew out, and then Delino DeShields hit into a 5-4-3 GIDP to end the game.
  • It was a winnable game — each team had 9 hits, 3 walks, and 2 home runs. The Royals just did a better job of taking advantage of their opportunities. A couple of things going the other way -- if a deep shot down the right field line Ronald Guzman hit with one on early in the game is straightened out a bit, rather than going foul, for example — could have made the difference in the game. Alas, it wasn’t to be today.
  • On the position side, Odor went 2 for 4 with two opposite field hits, the single mentioned above and a laced, hard hit double that went over the left fielder’s head. Odor is still very much a work in progress, but there are a few positive signs there right now.