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Thoughts on a 3-2 Rangers loss

Rockies 3, Rangers 2

Colorado Rockies v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Rockies 3, Rangers

  • So this kind of felt like yesterday, only with a not as good result.
  • Mike Minor got the start for the Rangers, and pitched to Jeff Mathis, just like he did almost every time he started in 2019 when Mathis was healthy. Chris Woodward is starting out 2020 keeping the pairing intact, and I expect Mathis will catch Minor again his next time out. I’m not sure if Mathis will have a backup catcher load, or just catch Minor while Jose Trevino gets the rest of the backup catcher starts for now, but we should expect to see Mathis at least every fifth day or so.
  • Minor, like Lance Lynn yesterday, wasn’t as sharp as he was for much of 2019, and had some command issues, but generally pitched fine. He only went five innings, but struck out six, walked one and allowed three hits and two runs.
  • The runs, though. Both came in a fourth inning that featured a pair of errors. Nolan Arenado walked, and then Charlie Blackmon hit a chopper to Rougned Odor. Odor bobbled it, looked to second, realized he wouldn’t have a chance to get Arenado, and threw to first...too late, as it turned out, to get Blackmon. Arenado, running the whole way, made it to third. A Matt Kemp single then drove home a run and put runners on the corners. Ryan McMahon hit a comebacker that Minor knocked down, fielded, and threw home, but the throw was bad an another run scored, with Minor being charged with an error.
  • Minor struck out the final two batters of the inning, and wasn’t really hit hard at all in the inning, but those two runs ended up getting him hung with an L.
  • Luke Farrell pitched a scoreless sixth and went out for the seventh, but started it double, sac bunt, single before being pulled for Nick Goody, who went fly out-walk-fly out in his Ranger debut.
  • The eighth saw Ian Gibaut have an impressive 2020 debut, as he struck out a pair while throwing 95-96 mph. Gibaut was non-tendered and then re-signed to a minor league deal this offseason, but he made noise in summer camp and earned a spot in the pen. A couple more performances like tonight will keep his spot safe even after the rosters start getting reduced.
  • Edinson Volquez had a scoreless ninth. That’s all I really have to say about him I think.
  • I guess we should have known the day was not going to go our way when Shin-Soo Choo, as the first Ranger batter of the game, smoked a ball the opposite way that appeared gone. Someone named Garrett Hampson, though, in left field for Colorado, reached over the wall and brought it back, keeping Choo from registering the first home run in Globe Life Field history.
  • That was kind of the story of the game for Texas. Unlike last night, the Rangers got base runners, and had opportunities..they just didn’t cash in. 8 hits and 6 walks for the Rangers resulted in just two RBI single that brought home Ronald Guzman (playing in place of late scratch Isiah Kiner-Falefa) and a Joey Gallo ninth inning roller down the third base line that scored Elvis Andrus.
  • The Rangers got a pair of runners on in the sixth and couldn’t score. They loaded the bases in the seventh inning with one out and couldn’t score. They had runners at second and third with no one out in the eighth, and saw Willie Calhoun and Ronald Guzman both whiff before Jose Trevino flew out to end the inning.
  • It was frustrating.
  • On the plus side, Joey Gallo had two singles and a walk, Elvis Andrus walked three times (and was thrown out trying to steal), and Jeff Mathis tripled. Nick Solak had a pinch hit single, which was nice.
  • The top three Ranger exit velocities tonight were 103.5, 102.5, and 101.4 by Willie Calhoun, Rougned Odor and Joey Gallo. All three are outs, which dovetails with the “it wasn’t the Rangers night” theory. The next highest EV was 99 mph by Mathis on his triple.
  • The fastest Rangers pitches tonight came from Ian Gibaut and Edinson Volquez, each of whom had a pitch clocked at 96.3.
  • Frustrating game, and it won’t be the last this year. Let’s see if Corey Kluber can at least keep the strong starts from the starters going tomorrow.