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Thoughts on a 3-0 Rangers win

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Rangers 3, Tigers 0

MLB: Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 3, Tigers 0

  • Cole Hamels gave up 7 runs in the first inning yesterday before being pulled with two outs in the inning. In 16.1 IP since then, the Rangers held the Tigers scoreless. That’s pretty good.
  • A solid outing from Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who gave up 3 hits and walked 1 in 5.1 IP, striking out 5. He cruised for the first five innings, but got into a little bit of trouble in the sixth, giving way to Jose Leclerc with two on and one out in the inning. Overall though it was very good work from ABD.
  • His reward is likely to be a return to Round Rock tomorrow. The Rangers are currently rolling with a seven man bullpen, and after Matt Moore and Alex Claudio pitched a ton yesterday, neither of that pair is likely going to be available tomorrow, and Moore probably won’t be available again until Friday. With reliever Cory Gearrin having been acquired today by the Rangers in that deal that sent three players to the Rangers from the Giants in exchange for a bag of balls, and Jon Daniels saying Gearrin is expected to report to the team in Boston, the Rangers will need to make a move to clear a spot for him. Martin Perez is expected to return to the rotation this coming weekend in Baltimore, and will likely take ABD’s place, so he can be sent down tomorrow to get Gearrin active and functioning as an extra arm in the pen.
  • Leclerc was dominant today, striking out five of the six batters he faced while walking the other one. Jake Diekman pitched a scoreless eighth, and Keone Kela continued to be perfect in save opportunities by locking it down in the ninth. Diekman and Kela continue to perform well during a period where the Rangers are shopping them.
  • The bats put runs up early. Jurickson Profar took Detroit starter Michael Fulmer deep as the second batter in the game, giving Texas a 1-0 lead, and then the Rangers put up two more in an adventurous second inning. Joey Gallo led off the second with a walk, went to second on an Isiah Kiner-Falefa single, and then scored on a Ronald Guzman single. Carlos Tocci laid down a nice sac bunt, and appeared to reach safely when the threw to first hit him in the back of the helmet, caroming away and bringing IKF all the way home from second. The umpires, however, said Tocci wasn’t in the baseline, and called him out for interference, returning the runners to their bases. Replays showed it was a bad call, and Jeff Banister went out to argue and ended up getting ejected.
  • In any case, Shin-Soo Choo followed that up with a grounder that was booted for an error, scoring IKF for the final run for the Rangers.
  • After that, there wasn’t much excitement or activity on offense for the Rangers. Nomar Mazara drew three walks, and Ronald Guzman had three hits.
  • Other than that, the drama was about Choo’s on base streak. At 46 coming into today, the grounder in the second looked like it might extend the streak, but it was called an error. After being retired in the seventh, it looked like he wouldn’t get another chance to extend the streak until the Rangers rallied to load the bases with one out in the 8th. As long as Joey Gallo didn’t hit into a double play, which he hadn’t done all season, Choo would bat again...and then Gallo hit into a GIDP. The streak was slipping away.
  • Fortunately, a Guzman one out single in the ninth meant that Choo would have another opportunity as long as Tocci didn’t hit into a GIDP. Tocci, apparently not wanting to mess things up, stood with his bat on his shoulder and got rung up for a K, setting the stage for Choo. Choo took a strike and then, on an 0-1 pitch, hit a slow chopper the other way down the line. The third baseman charged but had no play, and the gimpy Shin-Soo Choo, bad leg and all, beat out an infield single to extend his on base streak to a team record 47 games.
  • Hey, in a season like this, you take your positive things wherever you can get them.
  • So Texas has a split in Detroit before heading to Boston for three games. After that, it will be three games in Baltimore, and then the All Star Break.