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Thoughts on a 4-3 Rangers loss

Mariners 4, Rangers 3

Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners
Leody Taveras can play some defense
Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Mariners 4, Rangers 3

  • A sweep (Oops. Not a sweep. Stupid Friday to Monday series) at the hands of the Mariners, and the Rangers, after starting out at 10-10, have lost 16 of their last 19 games.
  • Jordan Lyles got into an immediate hole to start the game, allowing a Kyle Seager two run home run to give Seattle a 2-0 lead in the first. Kyle Lewis homered in the fourth inning. Lyles only gave up three hits all game, but those home runs were two of them.
  • Lyles also allowed four walks in the game — the first two batters of the game he faced, and the last two batters of the game he faced. His final line was 6.1 IP. 3 hits, 4 runs, 4 walks, 4 Ks.
  • The fourth run Lyles gave up was the third walk of the game he allowed. Jose Marmolejos drew the walk and was lifted for pinch runner Dylan Moore, who stole second. Phillip Ervin, just claimed on waivers by the M’s, then walked, and Brett Martin was brought in to face Shed Long.
  • Throughout the Long at bat, Dave Raymond and C.J. Nitkowski marveled at the decision to let Long hit. They noted that the left handed Long, who has been having an awful year, was 1 for 30 against lefties in 2020. They noted Martin hadn’t allowed a hit to a lefty all year. They noted that Sam Haggerty was on the bench and has had success against lefties. They couldn’t understand why Long was being allowed to hit.
  • I wanted to yell at them to stop all that. This is 2020, after all. Fate is choosing to mock us at every opportunity. And so the crack of the bat when Long laced a single into right field was, to borrow a phrase from Agent Smith, the sound of inevitability.
  • But just having Long single wasn’t enough, not in 2020. There had to be some additional salt to run into the wounds, an added twist of the knife. Derek Dietrich had been thrown out by a mile trying to score in the top of the seventh on a Leody Taveras double. Moore tried to score on the Long single to right, despite Joey Gallo and his cannon being out there.
  • But Gallo’s throw was up the line. An accurate throw and Moore was out easily. And even this throw, which Jose Trevino had to move up the line to field, had a chance to get Moore. But Moore alertly was able to dodge Trevino, who had to try to swipe at him as he went by. And thus Moore was safe, scoring when Dietrich couldn’t, and providing an insurance run that ended up being the difference in the game.
  • Rafael Montero pitched the eighth, and that provided for one of the best highlights of the game. With two outs, Evan White hit a blast to deep center. Leody Taveras got a bead on it, ran to the wall, and made the leap you see in the photo above. He was able to get over the wall and make the catch, saving a home run.
  • Folks talk about there being no reason to watch the Rangers right now. But Leody Taveras’s defense in center is worth watching.
  • All three runs today for Texas came on home runs — one by Joey Gallo, one by Leody Taveras, and one by Ronald Guzman. That is encouraging.
  • Leody also had the double that led to Dietrich being thrown out. Ronald Guzman drew a walk. Nick Solak had a hit. Isiah Kiner-Falefa had a pair of hits and a walk.
  • There were positives. It wasn’t a bad performance. It just wasn’t good enough.
  • Joey Gallo’s home run was the hardest hit ball of the day, being clocked at 113.5. The next two highest exit velocities were on Leody’s double (107.0) and home run (105.3). Guzman’s home run was 103.6, and Jose Trevino had outs that registered at 102.7 and 102.3.
  • Rafael Montero topped out at 96.5 with his fastball today. Brett Martin hit 94.9, whole Jordan Lyles touched 93.9.
  • 21 games left. Then this weird, unfortunate season for the Rangers comes to an end.