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Thoughts on a 6-1 Rangers loss

Red Sox 6, Rangers 1

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox 6, Rangers 1

  • Chris Sale is one of the best pitchers in baseball. He’s also lefthanded. The Rangers’ offense is not good right now, and the guys who do hit well are generally lefthanded hitters. Their two best righty bats, Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus, are both on the disabled list.
  • Given that, this seemed like a game the Rangers would be expected to lose. And hey, they did lose!
  • Doug Fister got the start, and seemed like he was in line to register a quality start, as he had allowed two runs through five innings, and then struck out Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers to start the sixth inning. An Eduardo Nunez single, a 1-2 HBP to Jackie Bradley, Jr., and then a back-breaking Sandy Leon home run put an end to the quality start, however, and any hopes of the Rangers making a game of things. Fister started the seventh, as well, to my surprise, and struck out Andrew Benintendi looking before J.D. Martinez knocked him out of the game with a home run.
  • Fister’s end line was 6.1 IP, 6 runs, 9 hits, 2 walks and 5 Ks. He now has a 4.02 ERA on the season, and a 4.76 FIP. There was a lack of enthusiasm over Fister when the Rangers signed him, but through six starts, he seems like a serviceable, useful starting pitcher, and one would think that Rangers fans would know not to complain about having a serviceable, useful starting pitcher. If he gives the Rangers 22-24 more starts with an ERA and FIP in the 4-5 range, then he’s a very successful signing.
  • Jesse Chavez finished out the seventh and pitched the eighth, and Tony Barnette pitched the ninth. Down 6-1 in the top of the ninth, I’m a little surprised that Jeff Banister opted for Barnette rather than Yohander Mendez, who was called up when Nick Gardewine on Thursday, and who hasn’t pitched, but I guess Banister felt a five run ninth inning deficit was still surmountable, and thus he wasn’t going to turn to Mendez.
  • I would assume Mendez will go down in the next few days, either for Matt Bush, who is in AAA, or for Chris Martin, when he is eligible to be activated on Friday, or for Rougned Odor, who appears on track to be activated this week.
  • Just five hits from the Rangers today. Ryan Rua had a home run off of Sale in the seventh, Renato Nunez had a pair of singles, Jurickson Profar had a single, and Delino DeShields had a single, a HBP and a pair of stolen bases. Not a lot of scoring threats today.
  • The one time it looked like Texas might be able to do something was in the bottom of the second, when Nomar Mazara was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and Profar followed with his single. Nunez and Rua each struck out, but then Ronald Guzman reached on an error by Devers, loading the bases with two outs for newly claimed backup catcher Carlos Perez. Alas, Perez hit a soft line drive back up the middle that Sale caught, and the inning ended.
  • So the Rangers lose three of four to the Red Sox. They had a chance to split, but gave away last night’s game with a variety of mistakes, and thus start a three game set at home against the Tigers looking to snap a three game losing streak.