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Thoughts on a 7-3 Rangers win

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Rangers 7, Angels 3

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 7, Angels 3

  • That was fun.
  • Oh, and long, because I was too tired to do this last night when the game ended.
  • Kyle Cody got the start and gave up the first earned run of his major league career in the first inning, although with an asterisk...with a runner on first and one out, he struck out Mike Trout, and the throw down to second appeared to be in time to get Andrelton Simmons in a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play. Rougned Odor couldn’t hold onto the ball, however, and Simmons was safe, and ended up scoring on an Anthony Rendon single.
  • Cody got pulled after 55 pitches after walking the bases loaded with one out in the third inning. He was going to be limited to three innings anyway, and 55 pitches is close to the limit of what they want him throwing right now. The stuff looks good, though the command left him in the third inning.
  • Jesse Chavez came in and got the final two outs of the third inning with no runs coming across, so good job, Jesse.
  • John King, meanwhile, made his second major league appearance, once again coming in in relief of Cody. It appears that Cody and King are likely to tag-team the rest of the way — each is being used carefully, Cody because he is coming off two seasons missed with Tommy John surgery, King because he had Tommy John surgery in the summer of 2017 and his 2019 season was his first back. Both would seem to be potential options for 2021 at some point.
  • King allowed an unearned run in 2 innings of work, with 1 K. The unearned run came when Anderson Tejeda made a bad throw on what should have been the third out of the fourth inning, which allowed Luis Rengifo, who was on first, to score.
  • Luis Garcia pitched a scoreless sixth. Its weird about where we are with baseball right now that Garcia was throwing 98 yesterday and we are like meh, ho hum, who cares. Garcia throws really, really hard, and yet he’s just another hard-throwing guy in 2020 MLB who will be an NRI with some team next year.
  • Brett Martin, Jonathan Hernandez, and Rafael Montero handled the 7th, 8th and 9th. Martin allowed a home run and a walk, but otherwise, the three shut the Angels down, and they now have ERAs of 2.08, 2.66 and 2.31, respectively.
  • The Rangers score seven runs yesterday, but the one that was most memorable was the final one. With one out, Shin-Soo Choo Nick Solak up, Isiah Kiner-Falefa at first base and Leody Taveras at third base, IKF broke for second on a Cam Bedrosian pitch. When Bemboom threw through to second, Taveras broke home, and on a bang-bang play, Taveras was safe with a steal of home.
  • Folks grouse about the team and how badly it is playing and say there’s no reason to watch right now, why bother...but this is one of those things that highlights why we watch. We saw Leody Taveras steal home yesterday, which is cool and fun and something that you rarely get to see. Even in a bad season, fun things happen that make it worth watching.
  • Isiah Kiner-Falefa continued to rake, going 4 for 4 on the day and extending his hitting streak to 12 games. IKF is now slashing .322/.368/.420 on the season, albeit with a .364 BABIP which I don’t think is sustainable. He also has 8 steals. He has a .339 wOBA, which exceeds his xwOBA of .317, but IKF with a .310-.320 xwOBA is a quality player who is a starter at any of the three infield positions on a good team. Its still a small sample size — everything in 2020 is going to inherently be a small sample size — but its been an encouraging 2020 for IKF.
  • Leody had a double, a walk, and that steal of home. Nick Solak had a hit and a sac fly. Joey Gallo had an opposite field single against a sidearming lefty, where he basically slapped a breaking ball on the outside part of the plate the other way, something we don’t usually see from him, and something that could help neutralize the shift when he’s facing that sort of pitcher. Rougned Odor drew a really good bases loaded 3-2 walk after fouling off a number of pitches, which gave Texas a 5-2 lead and extended their 5 run 5th inning. Anderson Tejeda got a hit.
  • And Eli White, finally, picked up a hit — and RBI double in the bottom of the fifth that tied the game at 2. White is never likely to hit a ton — he’s on the roster because of his outfield defense and his speed — but his hit tool has graded out decently, and his exit velocity numbers since his promotion have been better than his 0 for a bunch to start his career would suggest. Regardless, it is good to see him finally pick up his first major league hit, and hopefully he will have quite a few more.
  • Highest exit velocity of the day for the Rangers was Nick Solak’s fourth inning single, which was 111.7 mph off the bat. Eli White had a 103.5 mph groundout, which was the only other 100+ mph exit velocity the Rangers had, although Leody’s double was 98.2 off the bat, and he also had a 97.8 mph groundout.
  • Jonathan Hernandez had the fastest pitch of the game yesterday, at 99.5 mph, and also hit 99.3, 99.1 and 98.4. Luis Garcia had four pitches that were either 97.7 or 97.8. Rafael Montero hit 97.2, and had a bunch of pitches in the 96.5-96.9 range. John King topped out at 95.7 mph with his sinker, while Kyle Cody touched 95.2 and had a bunch of pitches in the 94-95 range. Brett Martin topped out at 94.7 mph.
  • Texas goes for the sweep this afternoon. You can root for them to win, or you can root for them to lose (and get a better pick). Your choice.