ChiSox 10, Rangers 5
- Well, no sweep, but a series win, and I’ll take that.
- Cole Hamels got the start, and had another bad outing in Arlington for the Rangers. Things got out of hand with an ugly 5 run 5th inning that included three different plays at the plate where the Sox runners beat the throw, and a runner reaching on a strikeout/wild pitch that eventually came around to score. It was an unusual game for Hamels in 2018, since he didn’t hit a batter or allow a home run, and he had a nice 7 K/0 walk ratio. However, as has frequently been the case, his command was off, and after allowing two runs in his first four innings of work, he got knocked around in the fifth as Chicago put up a big number.
- Hamels’ ERA on the season is 4.05, which is respectable, but probably overstates how well he has pitched overall. The rumor mill has suggested that other teams are leery of Hamels, who has lost some velocity and been homer-prone this season, and giving up 7 runs to one of the worst teams in baseball won’t help alleviate those concerns. Hamels still has value, and a team that is looking for someone who can provide innings and can handle the pressure of a playoff race would be interested in Hamels. He’s not someone a team would be looking at to head up their playoff rotation, though, and the type of return the Rangers are likely to get isn’t likely to be franchise-altering.
- The Rangers went with Alex Claudio for two innings, and he gave up a run, and then Matt Moore for the final two innings. Texas had actually crept to 8-5 in the bottom of the eighth and had Adrian Beltre pinch hitting as the tying run, but in the top of the ninth, Moore allowed two more runs to put an end to thoughts of a rally.
- The Rangers put up 2 runs in the fourth inning, a surprising outburst against ChiSox starter Reynaldo Lopez, who has given the Rangers fits so far in his brief major league career. They looked poised to break it open in that inning...Jurickson Profar singled, and went to third when outfield Adam Engel whiffed on the ball and saw it bound past him. Rougned Odor singled him home, and then went to third on a Ryan Rua double. Joey Gallo was intentionally walked to load the bases, bringing up Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who fanned, but Delino DeShields then walked to force home a run, make it a 2-2 game, and bring up the hot Shin-Soo Choo. Sadly, Choo struck out looking, the ChiSox put 5 runs on the board the next half inning, and the missed opportunity loomed large.
- The three run eighth started with an Odor walk, followed by a Rua single. Joey Gallo then had a weird triple to right center, capping off an awful series for the ChiSox outfielders defensively, and an IKF ground out brought Gallo home to make it 8-5. A DeShields walk and a Choo walk brought Elvis Andrus up as the tying run, but he flew out. Carlos Tocci was due up, but Adrian Beltre pinch hit for him, and struck out to end the inning.
- Tocci was due up, incidentally, because he replaced Nomar Mazara in the top of the eighth, when it was an 8-2 game. I don’t blame Jeff Banister for getting Mazara a couple of innings off, given Mazara’s tight hamstring, but that’s always the risk when you take guys out in a blowout...you may wish they were still in the game if you come back.
- Every Ranger starter got a hit except DeShields, who walked twice. Big games for Rua, who was 3 for 5, and Odor, who was 3 for 3 with two walks. Odor’s OPS is now up to 677 and his wRC+ is up to 83. As a point of reference, IKF has a 676 OPS now, with an 83 wRC+.
- Despite all the runs allowed, the Ranger pitchers continued their trend of not walking guys...Chicago drew one walk today, from Matt Moore.
- Texas now has an off day tomorrow, then two games at home against the Astros — the final two home games they have this year against the Astros, unless they make the playoffs and face Houston in the ALDS or ALCS — and then a 10 game road trip at Detroit, Boston and Baltimore that leads into the All Star Break.