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Thoughts on a 2-1 Rangers loss

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Astros 2, Rangers 1

MLB: SEP 17 Rangers at Astros Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Astros 2, Rangers 1

  • One run wasn’t enough tonight.
  • The fact that it was even a close game, though, feels somewhat surprising. Jordan Lyles came into the game with a 7.80 ERA and has been providing Mark Clark flashbacks, having allowed at least three runs in every outing other than his 2 inning appearance outing out of the bullpen in game four while supposedly tipping his pitches and battling command issues with his breaking ball.
  • After a 1-2-3 first Lyles started the second by walking Alex Bregman, then gave up a home run to right by Kyle Tucker, making it 2-0. This had a familiar feeling, and I braced myself for some ugliness that I hoped might be mitigated by a Demarcus Evans appearance later in the game.
  • But Lyles settled down and got into a groove. Not a Kyle Gibson yesterday complete game shutout groove, particularly given that he, you know, already gave up a home run. But he allowed just two more hits, and left the game after seven innings without Houston even really threatening the rest of the way, dropping his ERA down to 7.07.
  • Jonathan Hernandez pitched a scoreless eighth, lowering his ERA on the year to 2.60. He’s been a revelation in 2020.
  • The superlative pitching performance went for naught, however, as Texas scored but a single run, courtesy of a Sherten Apostel double in the 7th, which set him up to score on an Eli White single.
  • Texas only had three other hits all game, infield singles from Leody Taveras and Nick Solak and a regular single by Anderson Tejeda. Texas got runners on the corners in the first, and other than the Apostel run, there wasn’t much of a threat from Texas all game.
  • Jon Daniels has talked about the quality defensive players who the Rangers have recent,g brought up, and the notion of leaning into the new ballpark being pitcher-friendly. That, combined with the “we are cutting payroll” talk and the declaration the Rangers won’t sign anyone this offseason who would block a young player leads me to fear this will be a common occurrence next year as well.
  • The Rangers still just have 5 road wins this season. And the season is ending in ten days.
  • Apostel’s double was 107.8 off the bat, and Leody’s double was 103.2. The only other ball in play by the Rangers with an exit velocity of at least 90.0 was the 93.3 on Anderson Tejeda’s single. It was not a day of solid contact.
  • Jonathan Hernandez topped out at 98.8, so that was fun. Jordan Lyles topped out at 93.9, and generally sat at 92-93.
  • The Rangers now are down 2-4 in the Battle for the Silver Boot, but with four games at home against Houston next week, the coveted title of Silver Boot Holder is still in reach.