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Thoughts on a 6-5 Rangers loss

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A’s 6, Rangers 5

MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

A’s 6, Rangers 5

  • I’m not sure what else I should have expected from a trip to Oakland.
  • The fact that the A’s seems to be the Rangers’ new nemesis, trips to the Bay Area guarantees of a losing streak, feels almost inescapable at this point. There’s Khris Davis, of course, whose destruction of Ranger pitching is legendary, but not Matt Chapman seems to be getting on that level against Texas, and Stephen Piscotty is doing the same, and games in Oakland all just seem unpleasant and odd. I’m just going to assume going forward the Rangers are going to lose every game in Oakland, and be pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t happen.
  • Drew Smyly landing on the i.l. meant the Rangers pressed R-5 guy Kyle Dowdy into service as a spot starter. Dowdy gave up 3 runs in 3 innings of work, all on the dreaded two out, three run home run, in this case in the second inning, struck by Marcus Semien. It could have been worse.
  • Jesse Chavez came into the game, and it’s worth noting this is the sort of situation that the Rangers signed up Chavez to pitch in — needing multiple innings as a bridge after a short start in a situation where the Rangers are still in the game. As has happened all too often this season, Chavez pitched poorly — he allowed 2 runs in 2 innings of work, but on 4 hits and 2 walks — he left the bases loaded in the 5th. Chavez’s ERA is now 9.36, and a veteran who was supposed to be a somewhat reliable middle relief option has been anything but.
  • Following Chavez was Adrian Sampson, and my assumption is that the Rangers decided before game time that they were going to use Sampson out of the pen today, rather than have him make his scheduled start Thursday in Seattle. Come to think of it, they may have decided that last night, since Sampson was actually in Oakland, and didn’t fly ahead to Seattle, as the starting pitcher in the first game of a road series often does. In any case, given how the bullpen was burned through yesterday, and the fact that Dowdy wasn’t likely to go deep, I have to imagine the game plan coming into the game was to plan on using Sampson today and have Hearn pitch tomorrow.
  • And Sampson pitched well! He threw 3 shutout innings, allowing a hit, a walk and striking out a batter, and kept the Rangers in the game. The Rangers were tied going into the ninth, and I thought that Chris Woodward might go to Jose Leclerc, who hasn’t pitched since Sunday. But instead he went with Chris Martin, who allowed a one out single to Piscotty, saw Piscotty steal second when nobody covered the bag, and then allowed a game winning single to Chad Pinder.
  • So yeah, the Rangers lost, but it was a game that felt like they never should have been in.
  • Speaking of the ninth, the Rangers saw a two on, one out rally (if you can call back to back walks a rally) end when Delino DeShields hit into a double play. Woodward came out and asked for a replay based on Jurickson Profar not touching second base on the pivot (replays showed he missed the base) but the umpires said he waited too long to raise the issue, and didn’t review it.
  • The Rangers were not happy, from what I could gather, with the strike zone all day, either.
  • Texas only had 7 hits, though two of them were Nomar Mazara home runs, which is really good, given he has been struggling lately and we want him to hit more home runs. Two more hits came from a Logan Forsythe double and a Logan Forsythe home run. Which, you know...it’s less exciting when Logan Forsythe does it than when Nomar Mazara does it.
  • Elvis Andrus was out again with his bruised hand, and didn’t hit in place of Patrick Wisdom with one on and no one out in the ninth, a situation where you’d figure he would hit if he were capable of doing so. Wisdom struck out, one of 3 K’s he had today, and is hitting .130. He likely goes back to Nashville on Friday or Saturday when Rougned Odor is activated.
  • Odor, incidentally, played for Nashville today on a rehab assignment and went 0 for 3.
  • Anyway, no more games in Oakland for a while. Texas doesn’t return there until late July, after the All Star Break. That’s a good thing.