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Thoughts on an 8-7 Rangers win

Rangers 8, Mariners 7

MLB: Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 8, Mariners 7

• Well, that was exciting.

• It looked like the Rangers were going to win, and then it looked like they were going to lose, and then it looked like they were going to win, and then it looked like they were going to lose, and then they won.

• And they took a series on the road! It’s a miracle!

Jose Leclerc pitched the first as the opener, and got a ground out, a K, walked a batter, gave up an infield single, and then got another ground out. So the opener worked well once again...the Rangers openers have yet to give up a run.

Drew Smyly, the “starter,” did not fare so well. As has been the case for most of the season, he got some Ks, struggled with his command, and gave up some hard hit balls. Ultimately it was 7 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks in 5 innings, and it felt like it could have been worse than that.

• Given a 5-4 lead going into the bottom of the sixth, Smyly, with one out, gave up a walk, a triple and a home run, putting Seattle right back on top. Smyly retired the final two batters, but the question was asked, why let a struggling Smyly start the sixth? My assumption was that Jeffrey Springs, who threw a lot of pitches yesterday, wasn’t available, and Chris Woodward probably wasn’t real comfortable throwing Shelby Miller on back-to-back days (or at all, possibly), which left Jesse Chavez, Chris Martin, Shawn Kelley and Kyle Dowdy to choose from. My guess is Woodward wanted one more inning from Kelley given he only had three guys he really trusts the rest of the way, one of whom pitched yesterday.

Chavez ended up pitching two shutout innings, and Shawn Kelley closed it out in the ninth, though not before a single and a walk to lead off the inning stressed us all out. Domingo Santana struck out, though, and then the dreaded Kyle Seager hit into a 3-6-1 GIDP to end the game.

• I’m not going to dwell on it because the Rangers won and I’m feeling good, but, geez...the Drew Smyly situation is troubling.

• The Rangers picked up 3 runs in the first inning courtesy of Logan Forsythe, Danny Santana and Hunter Pence. This is exactly the trio we thought would be leading the Rangers to playoff contention this year.

• The Rangers scored a couple of runs in the 6th in large part due to three errors by two different pitchers. Rougned Odor had a double off the wall in right that was 113.1 mph off the bat, the hardest hit ball Odor has hit since Statcast has been tracking these things.

• Come the 8th inning, Nomar Mazara singled to lead off the inning, and after Asdrubal Cabrera fly out, Rougned Odor drew a walk. Both runners advanced on a Ronald Guzman groundout, and then scored when Shin-Soo Choo, pinch hitting for Jeff Mathis, singled them home.

• Nomar and Cabrera combined to produce the winning run in the 9th, with back to back 2 out doubles. Nomar, who has been, you may recall, the subject of much discussion of late due to his offensive struggles in 2019, was 3 for 5 on the day.

• So Texas is back above .500. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.