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Thoughts on a 6-4 Rangers win

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Rangers 6, Astros 4

Houston Astros v Texas Rangers Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

Rangers 6, Astros 4

  • When I was putting up the lineup post this afternoon, I thought about putting up the money line as well, then decided it was too depressing and opted not to. I think it was Houston -250...it may have been Houston -220. Either way, it had the Astros as heavy favorites.
  • And understandably so...the Astros are thought by some to be the best team in baseball, the Rangers are expected to be a last place team, and on the mound you’ve got Justin Verlander going for Houston against coming back from injury Shelby Miller. Verlander is great, Miller has struggled the past few seasons and wasn’t great in spring training...this game was set up for Texas to be stomped.
  • But it wasn’t a stomping. The game started like seemingly every game has for the Rangers this season, with their starter struggling early and letting a couple of runs in early on. Miller ended up going just 3.2 IP, walking five and giving up five hits, but allowed just the two runs, in part due to a great Nomar Mazara throw in the fourth on an Alex Bregmansingle that was cut off by Elvis Andrus, who, knowing there was no chance of getting George Springer at third, zipped a throw to first behind Bregman to nail him as he was darting back to the bag, turning runners on the corners and one out into a runner on third and two outs. Miller followed that up with a walk to Michael Brantley, prompting Chris Woodward to go get Jesse Chavez, who fanned Correa to end the inning.
  • Chavez’s early season struggles continued after that, however, as he allowed single runs to come across in the fifth and the sixth, and getting replaced by Shawn Kelley with one out in the sixth. Kelley finished the inning and pitched a scoreless seventh inning, setting up Chris Martin for a scoreless eighth inning, which led to Jose Leclerc picking up the save with a six pitch ninth.
  • The broadcasters were raving about Joey Gallo’s at bats today, as were the guys on the post-game show, and with good reason,as he was instrumental in the Rangers scoring tonight. Gallo led off the second inning by working a walk against Verlander, and then came around to score when Asdrubel Cabrera followed that up with a home run. Gallo walked again with two outs in the third, and while he didn’t score, it continued to set a tone.
  • Texas rallies again in the fifth, with Shin-Soo Choo lacing a ball to the wall in right-center to lead off the inning with a triple, which was followed by a Rougned Odor HBP. Elvis then drive a high breaking ball the other way for an RBI single, which was followed by a Nomar Mazara to bring home another run. That chased Verlander, and only bad luck snuffed out the rally, as Gallo smoked a ball at 104 mph that was snagged by Yuli Gurriel at first base, starting a double play.
  • Gallo came up big again in the 7th. Odor started off the inning with a well-placed drag bunt, and then an Elvis double over Josh Reddick’s head in right put runners on second and third with no one out. Mazara flew out to shallow left, bringing up Gallo, and amidst talk of whether he would finally register his first major league sac fly, Gallo smoked a ball into the hole on the right side, bringing home what would be the winning runs.
  • Woodward talked after the game about how proud he is of Gallo for working on being more disciplined, and implementing the changes in his approach which had been a focus in the spring in the regular season. Verlander has dominated Gallo historically, and him drawing a pair of walks, and not chasing the high fastballs he’s been vulnerable to in the past, is a very positive sign.
  • Everyone got a hit for Texas tonight except Ronald Guzman, who fanned all four times up, and Delino DeShields, who had a pair of walks.
  • Now to see if we can take the series tomorrow.