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Thoughts on an 11-4 Rangers loss

Astros 11, Rangers. 4

Texas Rangers v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Astros 11, Rangers 4

  • What an irritating game.
  • It’s was irritating in large part because, despite it being an 11-4 game, it seemed like a winnable game.
  • Jesse Chavez pitched the first inning as the opener, and things went swimmingly...he pitched a 1-2-3 first. Drew Smyly took over in the second and continued to his first three innings of work he allowed just one run, on a Michael Brantley home run. In the fifth, he allowed an unearned run when a runner who reached on a walk, and advanced to third when Rougned Odor missed a throw to second on a comebacker, scored on a single. At that point it was 4 hits, 3 Ks and a walk through 4 innings. One more inning and you can turn things over to the pen.
  • Alas, that one more inning is when things started to go south. After a ground out, Carlos Correa walked. Yuli Gurriel flew out, making it one on and two out. Just one more out and the Rangers get through six down 2-1.
  • It wasn’t to be, though. Running out of gas, Smyly walked Tyler White, and then Robinson Chirinos, loading the bases for Almedys Diaz. Chris Woodward went to Kyle Dowdy — a questionable decision, given the circumstances — and Dowdy gave up a grand slam to Diaz. Instead of being down 2-1, Texas was down 6-1.
  • This is a situation where the team’s limitations and lack of quality options in the bullpen hurt. Smyly probably shouldn’t be going more than 80-85 pitches at this point, but Woodward needed a little more and tried to squeeze that one more out out of him. When that didn’t work, he turned to Dowdy, a Rule 5 pick. Not a great choice, I think...but the pen isn’t teeming with better options right now. Shawn Kelley is on the i.l. Jose Leclerc isn’t right. Chris Martin is closing. Ariel Jurado or Brett Martin would have probably been preferable, but the fact we are saying one of them should have come into the game simply highlights what a problem it is right now.
  • Ronald Guzman hit a three run homer in the 7th to provide a sign of life, but Dowdy and Jeanmar Gomez gave the runs back in the bottom of the 7th, and then Wei-Chieh Huang allowed 2 more in the 8th, and a game that was a pitchers duel for a while became a blowout.
  • Guzman’s home run was good, and Danny Santana had a two hit game, and Hunter Pence had a double and a home run while continuing this incredibly improbable hit streak. Joey Gallo went 0 for 4 with 4 Ks, which isn’t good. Rougned Odor had an infield hit and a stolen base. Elvis Andrus has a hit the next inning, and then got caught stealing down 5 runs.
  • Bah.