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Thoughts on a 5-2 Rangers loss

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Orioles 5, Rangers 2

Baltimore Orioles v Texas Rangers Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Orioles 5, Rangers 2

  • That was a lousy game to start a (very short) homestand, particularly against a lousy team.
  • Mike Foltynewicz said after the game he felt good through and thought he had good stuff, but the Orioles were teeing off on it. Its the type of thing that leads to speculation about pitch tipping, and there was some speculation about that last night on Twitter. The increased use and availability of video and the increased advance scouting (even if it is of the virtual form) seems to have led to an increase of teams picking up when pitchers are tipping their pitches. Which isn’t to say that that was what was happening last night — but given that Foltynewicz was giving up really loud contact, and then the rest of the Ranger pitchers yesterday silenced the O’s, it leads one to consider the possibility.
  • Folynewicz got 12 swinging strikes out of 82 pitches, and struck out 6 Orioles against just 1 walk. his problem was he gave up a pair of homers, three doubles, and a triple, along with just one single. D.J. Stewart’s home run was 109.6 mph off that bat. Anthony Santander had a 109.5 mph groundout off of Foltynewicz, and a 101.9 mph sac fly. Rio Ruiz’s home run was 103.8 mph. There were a couple more 100+ mph EVs off Folty, along with a 98.3 mph double off the bat of Cedric Mullins. When the O’s were making contact, they were smoking the ball.
  • And then once Foltynewicz left the game, the O’s didn’t put a runner on base the rest of the game. Kolby Allard retired all nine batters he faced, five of them via strikeout, and Brett Martin had a 1-2-3 ninth inning. No EVs over 100 mph in those four innings — the high exit velocity off a Ranger reliever was D.J. Stewart’s 98.0 mph flyout off of Allard, which he got under (38 degree launch angle) and thus had a very low chance of going for a hit anyway.
  • The Kolby Allard situation is getting a little interesting. He pitched an inning on Opening Day, giving up a home run and striking out a batter. He then didn’t pitch again until April 13, when he struck out the side n Tampa. Yesterday he needed just 45 pitches to throw three innings, and struck out 5 Orioles. The expectation has been that Allard, who was the last player announced as having made the Rangers Opening Day roster, would be the first guy sent out once reinforcements arrived, and Chris Woodward’s usage pattern with him the first couple of weeks seemed to be consistent with that. But in his limited opportunities, Allard has been performing — he has a .249 xwOBA, his velocity is up a tad, and he’s getting a little more rise from his four seamer. Joely Rodriguez will likely be activated soon — maybe even today — and I would have said that Allard would be going when Rodriguez, or Willie Calhoun, returned, but at this point I’m not so sure. (Ed. Note — Joely was activated last night, and I missed it. Josh Sborz was sent down. My bad.)
  • Brett Martin did his thing in the ninth, going 1-2-3 on 7 pitches. Good Brett Martin is kind of a boring pitcher — he’s not going to get a ton of Ks, but he’s going to get ground balls and not allow many runs and be a perfectly cromulent middle or late game lefty reliever.
  • That bats were generally awful. Someone named Jorge Lopez started for the Orioles, and he’s not good, but he throws hard and he struck out 7 of the first 10 batters he faced. He had a perfect game until Joey Gallo walked with 2 outs in the 4th, and then he struck out Adolis Garcia to end the inning.
  • The Rangers, down 5-0 at this point, finally made some noise in the bottom of the fifth, leading off the inning with back-to-back home runs by David Dahl and Nick Solak. Aha, the Rangers have figured out Jorge Lopez, and are ready to bring the thunder! But the thunder wasn’t brought after that...Lopez retired the next three batters, and the O’s replaced him for the sixth.
  • The Rangers kind of had a rally in the 7th, when, with two outs, the O’s brought former Ranger first rounder Dillon Tate into the game, and he hit Nick Solak and then allowed an infield single to Jose Trevino, putting two on with two out for Anderson Tejeda. Tejeda struck out, however, ending that threat.
  • Texas got the tying run on board in the 9th, on an E5 by Mikael Franco that allowed Adolis to get on base, and then an infield single by Solak with two outs, but Jose Trevino struck out to end the game, and really, it never felt like the Rangers were going to come back anyway, so it wasn’t all that disappointing at that point...hopes weren’t dashed because there weren’t really any hopes to dash at that stage.
  • 15 Ks for the Ranger hitters yesterday, against 1 walk. That’s bad.
  • On the plus side, Nick Solak, the subject of much grousing early on, is currently slashing .275/.351/.471 and is leading the majors in HBPs. So that’s good.
  • Chris Woodward said after the game that the listless performance may have been in part due to having gotten in late in the night after Thursday evening’s game in Tampa, but he also said that’s part of a major leaguer and, in essence, you need to get your shit together and perform even if you don’t get in until late. Because it is only one time zone difference to where the Rangers were traveling to, it wasn’t mandatory under the CBA that that Thursday game have been a day game, but in case you’re wondering why so many getaway games are day games, that’s why.
  • Mike Foltynewicz had the hardest thrown pitch by any pitcher in last night’s game, with a first inning fastball clocking 97.3 mph. Foltynewicz and Lopez had very similar velocity results last night, and were responsible for 72 of the 73 fastest pitches we saw. Brett Martin topped out at 93.3 mph with a sinker, while Kolby Allard maxed out at 92.4 mph — his four seamer ran from a low of 90.3 to a high of 92.4, generally sitting around 91-92.
  • We had a whopping three triple digit exit velocities from Ranger batters last night, with two of them — Leody Taveras at 104.5 mph and Isiah Kiner-Falefa at 107.4 mph — resulting in ground outs. David Dahl’s home run was 103.2 mph, while Nick Solak’s home run was 98.0 mph off the bat. The next highest after that was 94.5 mph, on a Joey Gallo 62 degree LA pop fly, and an Isiah Kiner-Falefa ground out. There wasn’t a lot of solid Ranger contact last night.
  • Okay, it was a bleh game, but we can put it behind us now and move on, and see if the Rangers can even the series this evening.