- And so the Rangers sweep the defending world champs, in Houston, behind solid starts from Yovani Gallardo, Ariel Jurado and Mike Minor. That was unexpected.
- The Mike Minor saga has been an ineteresting subplot of the season, as he has worked to re-establish himself as a starting pitcher after injuries and a 2017 campaign in the bullpen. He’s been up and down and overall been okay, not great, in the rotation, and we can debate whether an okay starting pitcher has more value than a dominant reliever. In any case, he had one of his better starts of the season today, striking out 8 in 6 innings of work, walking one, and allowing four hits. Minor is supposedly the subject of trade talks, and he could be dealt, but I suspect he will still be here on August 1, and at the start of the 2019 season.
- All three relief pitchers today — Alex Claudio, Jose Leclerc and Keone Kela — are also the subject of trade rumors, though only Kela appears likely to be dealt in the next two days. All exemplify the Rangers ability to find solid relievers from seemingly nowhere, which helps highlight why the team is so willing to deal its relief pitchers. Kela got into a jam in the 9th, allowing a run and putting the tying run on second, but he closed the game out, and if it is his last outing as a Ranger, I will take a save against the Astros as his swan song.
- The bats weren’t great today — they tied a record for the most strikeouts in a nine inning game by a winning team, with 19 — but four runs were enough. One came in the fourth, courtesy of a Delino DeShields RBI groundout Rule double, and the other three came in the fifth, on three doubles, a wild pitch and an error. There were only six hits and a walk today for the Rangers, but they were clustered enough to get the job done.
- So a win and a series sweep are great, but it feels secondary to the ongoing trade deadline drama. Several guys we have been following and rooting for for a whole could be gone in 48 hours, as we see wholesale changes mid season as part of the rebuilding that’s seemed inevitable for a while. Texas starts a two game series in Arizona tomorrow, and we shall have to bide our team and see who is still here when that series wraps up.
Thoughts on a 4-3 Rangers win
Rangers 4, Astros 3