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Thoughts on an 11-4 Rangers win

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Rangers 11, Angels 4

MLB: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 11, Angels 4

  • Well, that went on for a while. And late into the night. Ah, these West Coast games...
  • After yesterday’s sparking Mike Minor outing, the starting pitching was back to normal today. Edinson Volquez struggled with his command, walked 4 batters, gave up 4 hits, and let 2 runs come across before being lifted with two outs in the fourth inning. At some point, Rangers starters are going to have to start going 5-6 innings with some regularity.
  • Jeffrey Springs pitched 2.1 innings in relief of Volquez, getting out of the fourth, keeping the Angels off the board in the fifth, and then running into trouble in the sixth, allowing a one out run when Brian Goodwin doubled home Tommy LaStella, who had led off the inning with a walk, on a play where Logan Forsythe’s relay throw home seemed to be in time to get the runner, but the ball caromed off the sliding LaStella and bounded away, resulting in an error being charged. Springs retired Zack Cozart before walking Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout, loading the bases and causing us a bit of anxiety, though Justin Bournthen bounced out to end the inning.
  • Jeanmar Gomez came into the game for the 7th, which made me remember, oh, yeah, Jeanmar Gomez is on the team.
  • Kyle Dowdy came into the game for the 8th, and it highlights another difference between Chris Woodward and Jeff Banister, because I don’t think Jeff Banister would let a Rule 5 guy pitch late in a game with a lead, even if the 8 run variety like this was (remember when Shawn Tolleson pitched a second inning in extras with what I think was something like an 8 run lead because of a lack of trust in Luke Jackson?). And threw a 1-2-3 8th inning, so good on him. The 9th, meanwhile, started with a Dowdy strikeout where the batter reached on a passed ball, and then a runner reaching on a Ronald Guzman error, apparently because the players get overtime pay if the game lasts four hours.
  • Will Kyle Dowdy be the new Logan Verrett or the new Darren O’Day? Something to contemplate.
  • Offensively, the Rangers got to Angels starter Matt Harvey early, starting off the game HBP-K-single before Joey Gallo crushed a three run bomb to right center, giving Texas a big lead before the fans had settled into their seats with whatever trendy concessions fans in Anaheim eat. An Asdrubal Cabrera walk was then followed by a Ronald Guzman blast right down the right field line that initially was called foul, though Guzman, almost at first base, immediately signaled for a review. The umpires checked and determined that yes, the ball caromed off the outside of the foul pole, meaning it was 5-0 on the first inning, causing much rejoicing from the Rangers faithful.
  • Texas scored another in the third, when Isiah Kiner-Falefa doubled home Logan Forsythe. Forsythe advanced to second after he singled with Guzman (who had doubled earlier in the inning) trying to run on Mike Trout, and failing by a fair margin. Trout doesn’t have a great arm, but sending Guzman didn’t seem like a good idea, and Trout made the Rangers pay. Still, Texas got a run anyway on the IKF bloop that left fielder Brian Goodwin unsuccessfully dived for, allowing Forsythe to score and IKF to get what in the box score looks like a line drive off the wall.
  • Three more runs came across in the fifth when there was another Goodwin misadventure. After a single-walk-single sequence, reliever Luke Bard got IKF and Delino DeShields to sky out shallowly to the outfield, creating panic that the Rangers would not capitalize. Choo sliced a ball to left off Bard, however, and with two outs and the runners going, two runs scored easily, with the third scoring when the spin on the ball fooled Goodwin and resulted in it bouncing past him.
  • At that point it was 9-2 and it was late and we could have just simmed the rest of the game, but no, everyone had to keep playing. Elvis picked up a couple of RBIs in the 8th, pushing Texas into double digits, which is always fun.
  • Delino got hit in the hand with a pitch in the second inning, and for a moment there were flashbacks to last season, when he broke a hamate bone in his hand and missed time, Visions of Joey Gallo having to play center field for the foreseeable future flashed before us before Delino went to first base, apparently healthy.
  • Some performances...Gallo went 1 for 4 with the home run, a walk, a K, and a smoked line drive that was caught for a double play. Elvis was 3 for 5, continuing his hot start. IKF and Logan Forsythe each picked up a couple of hits, which is nice for them.
  • The Angels, meanwhile, lost Andrelton Simmons early in the game due to back stiffness. Anaheim is already missing Justin Upton and Shohei Ohtani, and if they lose Simmons, they may be down to just one good position player.
  • Anyway, the Rangers are 5-2 now, and that’s a good thing.