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Thoughts on a 7-2 Rangers loss

Angels 7, Rangers 2

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

Angels 7, Rangers 2

  • Well, after a strong start to the road trip, things have gone bad the last three games. Including today’s unpleasant loss to Anaheim.
  • In what has become a trend, one of the Ranger starters ran up a high pitch count early, allows a big inning, and forced Chris Woodward to go to the pen way earlier than he would have liked to. In this case, after a 1-2-3 first, Shelby Miller lost command of his fastball in the second and allowed the first six batters to reach on three singles, two walks and an HBP. 4 runs came across that inning, and after a walk and an E-5 to start the third, Woodward pulled Miller and brought in Jeffrey Springs.
  • The pen was fine thereafter — Springs went 2 shutout innings, Kyle Bird went 2 innings and allowed a 2 run home run to Mike Trout on an exceptionally poorly located middle-middle pitch, Shawn Kelley gave up a run, and Chris Martin threw a scoreless inning. The pen wasn’t great, but allowing 3 runs in 6 innings of relief work isn’t bad. But when the rotation puts you in a big hole and the offense doesn’t capitalize on opportunities, well...
  • The only scoring was on a Joey Gallo two run homer in the second. Gallo went 1 for 3 with a walk and a homer, and continues to mash.
  • They had other opportunities, though. Bases loaded and none out in the fifth, and no one scored. Bases loaded and one out in the eighth, and no one scored. Texas hit into three GIDPs — two by Asdrubal Cabrera, who also made the error on Miller’s next-to-last batter — and Rougned Odor was thrown out trying to steal. The bats weren’t great, but the offense wasn’t completely shut down, either...opportunities were allowed to slip away.
  • Nomar Mazara had a couple of hits. Shin-Soo Choo had a couple of walks. Rougned Odor had a walk, but also swung at would have been ball four with the bases loaded in another at bat, and struck out a pitch later, so you know, one step forward, one step back.
  • Ultimately, the biggest issue right now is the rehabbing pitchers coming off Tommy John surgery haven’t come close to doing their job. Edinson Volquez is now on the injured list, so he’s out, and while a Taylor Hearn or a Joe Palumbo or a Brock Burke may be ready to join the rotation come August, right now, they need to stay in the minors, which means if Miller and Drew Smyly can’t get to the point they can go 5 innings, Texas may have to go dumpster diving for starting pitching help. Who knows, maybe Jason Hammel is tired of being around his family already.