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Thoughts on a 5-1 Rangers win

Rangers 5, Rays 1

Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Rangers 5, Rays 1

  • This was kind of a weird game.
  • Before we delve into the weirdness, I’d like to point out that the Rangers have allowed a total of 7 runs in their last four games. The Rangers are 2-2 in that stretch because they didn’t score any runs in the first two of those four games, and if you don’t score runs you’re going to lose. Still, that’s a pretty nice stretch of pitching.
  • Kohei Arihara started for the Rangers, and according to Statcast, I believe, he threw seven pitches today. Not, like, seven total pitches, since he went 5.2 IP and the math wouldn’t work out that way, but seven different types of pitches.
  • The seven pitches: Sinker, slider, splitter, change up, cutter, four seam fastball, curveball. Meanwhile, Lance Lynn is out there throwing a complete game with 117 four seamers. Takes all kinds.
  • Arihara gave up no runs — the lone Rays run came in the 9th on a Brandon Lowe home run off of Kyle Cody — but the Rays should have scored in the 2nd. Yandy Diaz started the inning with an infield single, and the Joey Wendle ripped a double to right field that Joey Gallo mishandled initially. Diaz seemed to have a good shot of scoring before the Gallo misplay, and once the ball got away from him it seemed there was no doubt he would score. But Diaz pulled up rounding third base, didn’t see his third base coach waving him home, and ended up staying at third. A pop up to shallow left and two Ks later, Arihara was out of the inning unscathed.
  • Arihara only allowed one additional baserunner the rest of the way, walking none and striking out five in what was one of the better starts the Rangers have gotten this season.
  • John King got the final out of the sixth and started the seventh, though he didn’t finish it, going single-GIDP-single-single before being lifted for Cody, who finished things out.
  • Cody closed things out, allowing the Lowe home run in the ninth for the one Rays run.
  • Nate Lowe put the Rangers on the board first, sneaking an opposite field home run just over the fence to lead off the second inning. That’s Lowe’s fourth home run on the season.
  • It stayed at 1-0 for some time. Texas appeared to be ready to bust things open in the sixth, when a David Dahl single, a Joey Gallo walk, and an Adolis Garcia single loaded the bases with no one out. Nate Lowe then grounded to first, with Yandy Diaz stepping on first and then throwing home. Dahl slid around Mike Zunino, was called safe, and the stepped on home plate, which should have been a sign that maybe there was an issue. Sure enough, replay showed that Dahl didn’t touch home on his slide, but Zunino did tag him, and so the call was reversed and Dahl was called out. Nick Solak then grounded out, meaning the Rangers had wasted a bases loaded, no one out opportunity.
  • Texas seemed poised to blow another great opportunity in the seventh. Jonah Heim led off with a walk, followed by Charlie Culberson singling, sending Heim to third. Leody Taveras then smoked a ball that Diaz fielded, stepping on first to get Leody, then throwing down to second. Culberson reversed field and appeared to be trying to buy time for Heim to break for home, but Heim stayed put and Culberson was tagged out, the second double play in two innings resulting from a lead runner being tagged out after Yandy Diaz stepped on first base.
  • In danger of seeing another opportunity slip away, the offense rose to the challenge. Isiah Kiner-Falefa walked, and then a David Dahl double brought home Heim and IKF. Joey Gallo was intentionally walked, bringing up cleanup hitter Adolis Garcia, who drove a 1-0 cutter into the right field seats for a home run. Except it bounced back into play and was determined to have hit the top of the barrier, which was okay because Garcia made it all the way around and beat the throw home for an inside the park home run. Except it went to replay, and despite the replay seeming to indicate Garcia was safe, the call was reversed. Garcia lost his first major league home run as a result.
  • Anyway. Two hit games for Garcia, Dahl, Lowe and The Culb. Joey Gallo had a hit and two walks.
  • Kyle Cody hit 96.7 mph with his fastball in the 8th inning tonight. John King reached 94.3, while Kohei Arihara hit 94.1.
  • David Dahl’s sixth inning single at 104.4 mph was the top Ranger exit velocity of the night. Adolis Garcia was 101.8 on his home run turned triple. Isiah Kiner-Falefa had a 101.6 mph lineout. Nate Lowe’s home run was 99.0.
  • Can the Rangers win the series tomorrow? Well, the possibility is there. Opportunity is a-knockin’.