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Thoughts on a 9-5 Rangers win

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Rangers 9, Giants 5

On the set of Nine to Five Photo by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Rangers 9, Giants 5

  • Avoiding getting swept is always good. Especially heading into an off day.
  • Kolby Allard, who made the Texas Rangers Opening Day roster as a long man, made his first appearance of the season, stepping into the rotation spot that opened up when Corey Kluber went down. Allard wasn’t really stretched out and it was expected that he would go a few innings and give the Rangers 60-80 pitches today, and keep the Rangers in the game.
  • That Allard did. Allard gave Texas four innings of one run ball, allowing 2 hits, walking 2 and striking out three. Allard also was consistently at 91-93 mph with his four seamer, maintaining the bump in velocity he showed last season. Allard will be getting the chance to show he can be counted out in the rotation going forward, and he’s off to a nice start in that regard.
  • Alas, the bullpen had some issues in the middle innings. Ian Gibaut came in for the fifth and had a single, groundout, single, wild pitch, ground out sequence bring a run home, but limited the damage by getting Hunter Pence to fly out to end the inning.
  • No such luck in the sixth, however. Evan Longoria led off the inning against Gibaut with a home run. Donovan Solano followed that up with a single, and then after a Pablo Sandoval fly out, Jesse Chavez came into the game. Chadwick Tromp took Chavez deep, and the Giants had tied the game at 5-5. Chavez also allowed a two out Alex Dickerson double to create more drama, though a Wilmer Flores F9 ended the threat.
  • Jonathan Hernandez got things back on track for the Rangers. Pitching the seventh and eighth, he faced seven batters, walked one, struck out four, and allowed no hits or runs. It was an impressive performance.
  • Edinson Volquez pitched the ninth. He was fine.
  • So we had bats coming alive today, a very nice thing to see given the early offensive travails. Texas got on the board in the second when Joey Gallo led off the inning with a bloop single to center, Nick Solak got on with a one out single, and then Scott Heineman smoked a ball to the gap for a two run double. Jeff Mathis brought Heineman home later in the inning with a two out single.
  • After going three up and three down in the third and fourth, Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled to start the fifth, and was brought home by Shin-Soo Choo’s one out two run homer. That gave the Rangers the 5-1 lead that turned into a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the sixth.
  • A Gallo walk and a Heineman single in the top sixth gave the Rangers an opportunity, but they were stranded, and so it was the seventh inning that saw Texas put up another crooked number. Offensive spark plug Jeff Mathis led off the inning with a walk, which was followed by walks from Choo and from Elvis Andrus. Lefty Tyler Anderson was brought in to face the struggling Willie Calhoun. Calhoun laid off a pair of close pitches, and then on 2-0, lofted a ball to center, deep enough to bring home Mathis from third, in what was a tremendous at bat to give Texas the lead.
  • Gallo followed Calhoun by falling behind 0-2, then crushed an Anderson four seamer 422 feet for a three run bomb. It was only his second 0-2 home run of his major league career, and his third home run of 2020.
  • Texas had a chance to make it a laugher in the ninth, when Gallo doubled with two outs, then Todd Frazier and Nick Solak walked, setting the stage for Heineman, who flew out to end the inning.
  • Everyone got on base today except Willie, though his sac fly was critical. Gallo’s 3 hits and a walk were the big story today. Heineman has two hits, and Frazier drew a pair of walks.
  • There were a lot of hard hit balls today. Choo’s home run had the highest EV of the game, at 110.1, and he also had a 101.0 groundout. Joey Gallo’s home run was the second hardest hit ball of the game, at 109.2, and he registered 103.1 on his double. Nick Solak had a 105.7 mph single, and Scott Heineman’s double was 99.7 mph. Gallo’s single, at 73.6 mph, was also the most weakly hit base hit of the day. The Giants had eight balls crack 100 mph exit velocity, but we don’t care about them.
  • The fifteen hardest thrown pitches of the game, by either side, were sinkers from Jonathan Hernandez, ranging from 97.1 to 99.4. The next three highest velocities were four seamers from Ian Gibaut, ranging from 96-96.6, followed by an Edinson Volquez sinker at 95.7. Kolby Allard topped out at 93.3. The 33 hardest thrown pitches in the game today were all by Rangers pitchers.
  • Texas is now 3-5, a game and a half back in the West, and play three in Oakland after an off day tomorrow.