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Thoughts on a 5-4 Rangers loss

Pirates 5, Rangers 4

MLB: Texas Rangers at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pirates 5, Rangers 4

  • That was kind of a run-of-the-mill, everyday, garden variety loss. The Rangers were in it, but lost, and, well, such is life.
  • Adrian Sampson got the start and kind of had issues from the get go. He faced three batters in the first, allowed singles to two of them, but got out after facing the minimum when Starling Marte was thrown out trying for a double by a Joey Gallo-Elvis Andrus-Rougned Odor relay, followed by Gregory Polanco being thrown out trying to steal second. Polanco was initially called safe, but the replay showed pretty clearly he was tagged out before reaching second, and when the scoreboard showed the replay while it was being reviewed, the Rangers started running off the field before the umpires even overturned it.
  • Josh Bell led off the second with a double, but was stranded. In the third, however, a two out Adam Frazier triple followed by a Marte single brought home a run. In the fourth, Bell walked, Sampson retired the next two batters, then went HBP and walk. Melky Cabrera hit for the pitcher and doubled, bringing home two more runs.
  • Sampson was due up second in the top of the fifth, and I thought he would be pulled for a pinch hitter, given he had been struggling, Texas has a rested pen, and Sampson doesn’t seem well suited for facing batters a third time. However, he was allowed to hit, and ended up reaching on an E-1 on a bunt attempt, though he was stranded. Unfortunately, the fifth started with a Marte HBP and a Polanco homer, and while Sampson finished the inning without any more damage, the five runs he allowed was all Pittsburgh needed.
  • Sampson’s final line was 5 runs on 7 hits, 2 walks, 2 Ks, and 2 HBP in 5 innings of work. 11 of the 24 batters he faced reached, which isn’t good.
  • Jesse Chavez pitched the 6th, and started out with a walk and a single, but then retired the next three. That’s two scoreless outings in a row, and hopefully this is the start of a trend for Chavez, who has been not good this year.
  • Also logging a scoreless outing was Jose Leclerc, who pitched 2 scoreless, walking 1 and striking out 1. I’m not going to pronounce him back just yet, but like his last outing, he looked a lot better today than he had been.
  • All the Rangers runs came courtesy of Hunter Pence, who had a two run home run and a two run double, also had another double. and who has been performing way better than anyone could have expected. He’s hitting .333/.403/.603 and I’m just going to shrug and say you can’t predict ball.
  • The Rangers had five hits today. Joey Gallo also had a double, and Elvis Andrus had a single. Texas also had 7 walks today, including 1 by Gallo, 1 by Pence, and 3 by Asdrubal Cabrera. Cabrera, sadly, was erased twice after walks on Logan Forsythe GIDPs.
  • Oh well. One more no-DH game tomorrow, very early (11:35 Central), then on to Houston for four.