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Thoughts on a 6-1 Rangers loss

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Orioles 6, Rangers 1

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Orioles 6, Rangers 1

  • The Rangers offense continues to struggle.
  • On the other hand, the Lance Lynn trade is looking pretty decent so far.
  • Dane Dunning made his third start of the season, and had his third really good outing, needing just 75 pitches to throw 6 shutout innings. Dunning gave up a run in his first inning of the season, and hasn’t given up a run since.
  • Dunning struck out five batters today and walked no one, allowing five hits, all singles. He also generated 12 swinging strikes — 7 off his slider — which is pretty decent. He did give up some hard hit balls today but overall you couldn’t ask for a better start to the year from him. Given the Rangers need for good young starting pitching, and their need to get a quality return for Lance Lynn, what we have seen so far is very encouraging. It’s very early, but nonetheless, the very early returns are very good, and that’s better than them being bad.
  • Things went downhill once the bullpen came in. Taylor Hearn is theoretically the second leg of the tandem starting combo that starts with Dunning, but Hearn has also appeared in relief in three games Dunning hasn’t started, and he appears to be getting utilized more as a multi-inning reliever than as a pseudo-starter. In any case, Hearn came in for the seventh inning with a 1-0 lead, retired the first two batters he faced, then gave up a Freddy Galvis double and a Cedric Mullins single to tie the score before getting out of the inning.
  • Things got worse from there. Hearn was replaced by Joely Rodriguez, making his season debut, in the eighth. He gave up a single, another single, a double, and then what should have been another double but for a great Joey Gallo snag in right field, and ultimately had to be bailed out by Brett de Geus, who got the final out of the eighth. De Geus then gave up three runs in the top of the ninth to eliminate any hopes of a comeback, though I don’t think many of us were all that optimistic about a three run rally in the ninth anyway.
  • The Rangers did not, in fact, have a three run rally in the ninth. They had a 0 run ninth inning, the same as seven other innings for them tonight.
  • The only Ranger run of the game came courtesy of three singles in the fourth. The third put runners on first and second with one out, and Nick Solak hit what we thought was going to be an RBI single to follow it up, but some fielding magic turned it instead into a GIDP, and that was all she wrote for scoring runs.
  • Willie Calhoun and David Dahl each had two hits, which was about the extent of the positivity about the offense this evening.
  • I have to say, it’s annoying to win three games in a row in Tampa, then come home and lose two in a row at home to Baltimore. Losing multiple games at home to the O’s always brings to mind Baltimore knocking around Cliff Lee in his first game as a Ranger as part of a four game sweep in Arlington in the final series before the All Star Break in 2010. That ranks right up there with a car being on the field in vexing 2010 events.
  • Joely Rodriguez cranked a fastball up there at 95.9 mph today, just ahead of Taylor Hearn, who hit 95.5. Brett de Geus hit 94.5. Dane Dunning maxed out at just 91.0.
  • David Dahl at 101.8 and Nate Lowe at 100.4, each with singles, were the only Rangers to hit triple digits in exit velocity tonight, which helps explain why the team only scored one run.
  • Series finale tomorrow. Let’s hope they avoid the sweep.