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Thoughts on a 3-2 Rangers win

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Rangers 3, Rockies 2

Texas Rangers v Colorado Rockies Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Rangers 3, Rockies 2

  • My mind still hasn’t been able to wrap itself around the idea that Lance Lynn is, like, a real live legitimate #1 starter.
  • Coming into today, Lynn was 5th in the American League among all players in bWAR, at 1.2, and third among pitchers. He may be first after today.
  • Lynn was sixth in the American League in bWAR last year, and second among pitchers, behind only Mike Minor.
  • Lynn going deep into the game and not allowing much damage has become accepted at this point...commonplace. Routine. And today’s game was no different.
  • Chris Woodward noted that Lynn kind of pitched a no-hitter. The first two batters of the game reached — Garrett Hampson on an infield single, Trevor Story on a single of the normal variety. Lynn then recorded twenty seven outs without allowing another hit.
  • That actually kind of understates Lynn’s performance the rest of the way, because he faced twenty nine batters after those two singles, retired twenty seven of them, and had two batters get on base via error. So twenty nine straight batters without a hit or a walk by Lynn.
  • Two runs came across, one in the first that was earned. Charles Blackmon grounded out on a ball that could have been a double play, but which Todd Frazier juggled and did a dipsy-doodle on, and was fortunate to get just the runner at first after recovering. Nolan Arenado then grounded out to Elvis Andrus on a ball where Arenado was originally called safe, as Elvis’s throw was high and required Frazier to jump, but which was reversed and call an out on replay. Either way Arenado’s grounder brought a run home.
  • The unearned run came in the bottom of the sixth, when Tony Wolters reached when Jeff Mathis fielded a tapper in front of the plate and then threw about ten feet over Frazier’s head at first base, going to second on the play, and then was sacrificed to third base. Trevor Story then reached when Elvis anticipated a higher hop on a hard hit ball in the infield...if you recall, the Rangers new home infield produces bigger hops that most infields, and it was speculated that Elvis was playing the ball more like he was at home than in Colorado, where the infield creates a more normal bounce. Either way, a run scored, and the Rockies took the lead.
  • But Lance Lynn wasn’t fazed. He got out of the inning, retired every batter the rest of the way, and ended up with a 110 pitch 9 inning complete game in Colorado, which is impressive.
  • The bats, on the other hand, weren’t impressive, outside of Nick Solak, who was 3 for 4 with a home run and two doubles. Solak’s solo shot put the Rangers up 1-0 early, and he scored the second run when Rougned Odor singled him home in the 7th.
  • The other run score in the 8th, when Derek Dietrich, hitting for Jeff Mathis, reached on an HBP, went to third on a Shin-Soo Choo single, and scored on Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s GIDP.
  • IKF fanned in his other three plate appearances. Joey Gallo struck out in all four of his plate appearances. Whether three Ks and a GIDP that a run scores on is better or worse of a night than four Ks, I will leave to you.
  • Todd Frazier also had a hit. Mathis and Willie Calhoun each walked. It wasn’t a big night for the Ranger offense. Of course, with Lance Lynn on the mound, the Rangers didn’t need a big night, even with the iffy defense behind Lynn.
  • I will say that, as far as defense goes, Nick Solak made a few exciting and adventurous plays in center field. I’m not sure how difficult the plays should have been — he seemed to get a less than ideal break and did a stop-and-start coming in on at least one play that ended up looking difficult — but hey, it makes for entertaining television, and he made the plays, and that’s all that matters.
  • Nick Solak had 103.2 and 101.6 on a double and home run, respectively. Shin-Soo Choo had the hardest hit ball of the night, 111.2 mph EV off of Daniel Bard on the single that moved Dietrich to third. Elvis Andrus had a 101.5 EV ball that went 423 feet, but was caught at the wall. And Rougned Odor had a 100.3 mph groundout.
  • Lance Lynn topped out at 95.9 mph tonight with his fastball, and had around a dozen pitches in all that were 95.0 or higher.
  • The Texas Rangers are now at .500, and still clinging to a playoff spot. Let’s embrace the weirdness of 2020 baseball.