First things first, the few innings max with many walks trend by Rangers starters is untenable for a baseball team and it’s going to crater the entire pitching staff soon and this whole thing just got started. Nevertheless...
How about those tenacious at-bats from the hitters!?
If you had told me going in that a pitcher in this game would have a line of 4 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 4 Ks, in 94 pitches, I would have thought: “Well, I guess Shelby Miller joined the rest of the reclamation rotation in being inefficient during this first turn through.” But no, that was actually Justin Verlander’s line.
Miller’s wasn’t much better, mind you. He went 3 2⁄3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 5 BB, 2 Ks in 88 offerings. The difference is, one is Justin Verlander and the other, well, isn’t.
The Rangers lineup made Justin Verlander look like a Rangers starting pitcher.— Christopher Fittz (@apoplecticfittz) April 3, 2019
Up and down the lineup, the Rangers worked Verlander with hard fought at-bats all night and he eventually wore down and it allowed the Rangers to stay in a game they eventually won in the later innings.
Honestly — right down to the big dinger from Asdrubal Cabrera — it looked like the recipe the Rangers have used in each of their wins so far this year.
Even though Texas reached base just two times total last night, they continue to look impressive at the plate as far as the overall approach goes and if they can continue to look that way, the future actually starts to look like something worth looking forward to.
Player of the Game: Joey Gallo, against a pitcher like Verlander who is designed to eat him alive, went 1-for-2 with two RBI and two walks tonight with the two runs plated being the go-ahead and eventual game-winning runs. The Gallo that continues to wait for his pitch and do damage with it when he finally gets it is the Gallo that’s going to change a lot of people’s minds about a low average hitter.
Up Next: The Rangers and Astros conclude this opening series on Wednesday with Mike Minor taking the bump for the second time this season against Gerrit Cole for Houston. First pitch in the rubber match from The Ballpark is scheduled for 7:05 pm CT.