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Thoughts on a 15-1 Rangers win

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Rangers 15, M’s 1

MLB: Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 15, M’s 1

  • That’s a hell of a way to break an ugly losing streak.
  • And, after all the unpleasantness for Rangers fans this week, it’s very nice to have a laugher that we can enjoy in a non-stressful manner, capped off by the opposing team being the one having to use a position player to pitch.
  • Before we talk about the offensive explosion, though, let’s give credit to Mike Minor. The Rangers’ bullpen was sucking wind even before Thursday night’s disaster that saw starter Taylor Hearn make it just 0.1 IP, and Friday’s 11 inning game simply exacerbated things. The Rangers, having lost five in a row, needed Mike Minor to pitch well...but perhaps more importantly, they needed Mike Minor to go deep into the game, to keep the pen from having to soak up a bunch of innings yet again.
  • Staked to a 3-0 lead, Minor gave up a home run to the second batter of the game, Domingo Santana, and then only allowed one other runner to get to second base. Minor ended up with 13 Ks in 7 innings of work, allowing 3 hits, walking 1 and hitting a batter. It was a career high in Ks for Minor, and exactly what the Rangers needed today.
  • Ariel Jurado struck out three in 2 shutout innings to close things out. Kyle Bird was optioned 10 days ago, so with Jurado going today, Texas could theoretically option Jurado and bring Bird back to give them a fresh arm and a second lefty out of the pen. That said, with off days Monday and Thursday, the Rangers appear to now be in a good position to get the pen back in order.
  • Texas jumped on Mike Leake early, with the first three batters of the game going walk-E6-home run, and as it turns out, the Elvis Andrus third hitter of the game bomb was all the offense the Rangers would need. Rougned Odor followed in the second with the most momentum-swinging play in baseball, the two out, three run home run, and then Texas scored two more in the third on a Nomar Mazara double, a Danny Santana double, and a Logan Forsythe single, making it an 8-1 game and making everything after that gravy.
  • Elvis has a big day, going 3 for 6 and ending up a triple shy of the cycle. His home run measured 440 feet, the longest home run Elvis has had in his career. He now has a 998 OPS on the year. Also, on my iPad, when I type Elvis, it gives me this as an option.
  • Everyone had at least one hit today. Odor had just one hit, the home run, but he also drew two walks, which is a very good sign. Joey Gallo was the other Ranger to have just one hit, but it was also a home run, though of the wall scraping variety rather than one of the moonshots we are used to seeing from Gallo when he goes deep. Anyway, Gallo, who has been in a bit of a slump the past few days, still has a 1032 OPS.
  • Nomar Mazara was 2 for 6, and is now sporting an 820 OPS. Not bad for a guy who, earlier this week, fans were saying needed to be sent down.
  • Logan Forsythe was 4 for 6, Danny Santana was 3 for 5, and each had a pair of doubles. Both players have been solid in a fill in roles, and the Rangers will have a tough decision to make when Ronald Guzman returns.
  • Hunter Pence had a pair of hits, and is making me look dumb for insisting all spring that Pence was done. Pence has a 785 OPS on the year.
  • Former Ranger Minor leaguer Dylan Moore pitched the 9th, which is primarily noteworthy because Moore is not a pitcher, but an infielder. Moore pitched for Hickory in 2016, when he was still with the Rangers. He logged 1 inning of work, and gave up 7 runs on 7 hits.
  • Per Statcast, the five hardest hit balls tonight were Odor’s home run, Santana’s home run, a Hunter Pence single, an Odor groundout, and a Pence groundout. Elvis’s home run was 6th. 9 of the 10 hardest hit balls tonight were by the Rangers, including Joey Gallo’s rainmaking pop fly in the 9th off Moore, which had an exit velocity of 102.8 mph and a 57 degree launch angle.
  • The Rangers now have scored more runs in the series than the Mariners, which seems kind of remarkable, given how the series started. And Texas will go for the split tomorrow.