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Thoughts on a 6-4 Rangers loss

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Padres 6, Rangers 4

San Diego Padres v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Padres 6, Rangers 4

  • That was better than last night, but still not good.
  • The Mike Minor situation continues to be a problem. Minor was one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2019. He was very good in 2018. He’s been bad in 2020, and after giving up 6 runs in 3.2 IP — including a two out first inning grand slam to Wil Myers — he is now sporting a 6.94 ERA on the year.
  • Minor said after the game that his change up was his problem today, but once again, his velocity dropped over the course of the game, dipping below 90 mph in his final inning. There supposedly is nothing physically wrong with Minor, and there’s been speculation that, as someone who is exceptionally routine-oriented, he is being impacted more than most players by the weirdness of the 2020 season.
  • It at one point seemed to be a lock that the Rangers would make the qualifying offer to Minor this offseason. With Minor scuffling, however, and with the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming free agent market, that seems less certain, and there would seem to be a pretty decent possibility that Minor would accept if it is offered.
  • The Rangers have a similar, though slightly less expensive, decision to make with Corey Kluber after the season. The Rangers have a $14 million club option on Kluber for 2021, with a $1 million buyout.
  • The bullpen came through at least. Ian Gibaut, appealing his three game suspension for throwing behind Manny Machado last night after a different Padres grand slam, allowed a two out steal of third by Fernando Tatis Jr., the guy who went deep on Juan Nicasio yesterday and caused the unwritten rules drama, but then got out of the fourth. Gibaut retired two batters in the fifth while walking a pair and was lifted for Joely Rodriguez, who walked the first batter he faced, loading the bases, before escaping with no runs scored.
  • Rodriguez then pitched a scoreless sixth, Luis Garcia, the veteran who replaced Nicasio (who went on the restricted list for personal reasons after yesterday’s game) pitched a scoreless seventh, and Jonathan Hernandez and Taylor Hearn kept San Diego off the board in the eighth and ninth, respectively. It would have been a great story if the solid relief work had been accompanied by a comeback by the offense.
  • It wasn’t to be, of course. The fourth inning was the Rangers big opportunity, as Danny Santana and Todd Frazier started the inning with singles, followed by a Joey Gallo three run homer. Nick Solak walked and Isiah Kiner-Falefa reached on a Manny Machado error, bringing up Derek Dietrich as the tying run.
  • Dietrich, though, rolled over on a 2-0 pitch and ended up with a GIDP. Scott Heineman doubled home Solak and picked up his own two out steal of third, but he was stranded, and Texas didn’t score again after that.
  • Texas had a couple of chances later on, loading the bases on three walks in the seventh, and getting the tying run on base with a single and a walk in the ninth, but everyone ended up being stranded.
  • This three game losing streak is a letdown after how last week went.
  • Danny Santana had the highest exit velocity of the day for Texas, at 107.6 mph on his fourth inning single. Joey Gallo’s homer was 105.4, and Scott Heineman’s double was 100.8. All those came in that fourth inning rally.
  • Jonathan Hernandez topped out at 98.3 mph, leading the Rangers pitchers in velocity. Luis Garcia hit 97.4 and 97.2 in his inning of work, Ian Gibaut and Joely Rodriguez each topped 95 mph, and Taylor Hearn topped out at 94.6. Mike Minor hit 93.3 with his four seamer, but saw that same pitch clocked at 88.3 twice in the fourth inning. As a point of reference, Minor’s slider was at 87 mph in the first.