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Thoughts on a 5-4 Rangers win

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Rangers 5, Angels 4

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Rangers 5, Angels 4

  • A sweep of the hated Angels. That’s always something that warms the cockles of the heart, particularly after having an unpleasant 1-3 series against them in Anaheim in the not too distant past.
  • Lance Lynn wasn’t particularly sharp today, having trouble with his command and seeming to leave some pitches in hittable parts of the zone too often, but he battled through it and put Texas in a position to win. The Angels put a run on the board in the second and another in the third, and seemed to kind of be perpetually on the verge of a big inning, but Lynn managed to escape the jams, or, in the sixth with two out, let Jesse Chavez escape it for him.
  • End line for Lynn was 5.2 IP, 7 hits, 3 walks, 2 Ks. He wasn’t real sharp, but it ended up being good enough to win.
  • Chris Woodward appears to be opting for a Shawn Kelley/Chris Martin/Jose Leclerc arrangement for the 7th/8th/9th LF close games. Kelley kept Anaheim off the board in the 7th, but Martin gave up a home run to Tommy LaStella in the 8th, making it a 5-3 game when Leclerc came in for the 9th.
  • The 9th was more exciting than any of us would like, starting off with a David Fletcher double that Statcast said goes for a hit 5% of the time, and that many Rangers fans thought would have been an out if Joey Gallo, rather than Shin-Soo Choo, was in left field. Kale Calhoun walked, bringing up Mike Trout as the go ahead run, and Leclerc appeared to strike him out swinging, but did not get the call on the check swing. Trout ended up reaching on an HBP, loading the bases with no one out, and generally causing panic and anxiety amongst the handful of faithful fans who braved predictions of a hail storm to come out to the game.
  • I was at the game, incidentally, and in my row was an obnoxious Angels fan who, in the later innings, would stand up and clap slowly, loudly and deliberately when any Angel did something good — including in some instances just throwing a strike — and continuing well past the point everyone had moved on and was ready for the next pitch. Fans of opposing teams who want to annoy everyone around them suck. If you’re going to a Ranger game at antiheroes stadium, don’t act like that.
  • Anyway, Leclerc calmed everyone down with a K-fielders choice-K sequence that saw a run score on the fielder’s choice but ended the game. Leclerc’s command is still a bit worrisome but a win is a win.
  • The Rangers scored their first run due to Angels incompetence. Choo walked to lead off the inning, then went to second when Matt Harvey threw a pickoff attempt away. Danny Santana grounded out, advancing Choo to third, and then Elvis Andrus lined out for the second out. Nomar Mazara hit a scorcher into the shift, for what appeared to be an inning-ending 4-3, but Tommy LaStella booted it, allowing Mazara to reach on an error and Choo to score.
  • That Mazara E-4, incidentally, had a 108.1 mph exit velocity, second highest of the game. The highest EV was 113.5 mph on a Mike Trout first inning groundout.
  • The rest of the runs came in a fifth inning explosion that appeared out of nowhere — Matt Harvey had been cruising up to that point. But Asdrubal Cabrera, Logan Forsythe and Isiah Kiner-Falefa all singled, bringing home a run, and then Delino DeShields had a sac bunt, then Choo tripled and Danny Santana doubled, and all the sudden the Rangers were up 5-2.
  • Texas only had six hits in the game, but five of those six were bunched together right there, and that’s why Texas won.
  • So the Rangers are now 10-7 on the season, and we can all enjoy tomorrow’s off day by basking in the afterglow of a sweep, and enjoying a team that is still over .500, at least for a few more days.