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Thoughts on a 4-3 Rangers loss

Angels 4, Rangers 3

Los Angeles Angels v Texas Rangers Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Angels 4, Rangers 3

  • Quite a weird game. The Rangers don’t allow a run after the first inning, and lose anyway.
  • We wrote last week about Dane Dunning’s early success, and how much of that was driven by his ability to command his pitches very well in the early going. Dunning’s command was poor his last time out, and there was more of the same to start today’s game. After seven batters, there were four runs across and a runner in scoring position, and Dunning appeared to be on his way to a second straight disaster start.
  • Dunning finished off Scott Schebler with a K to end the inning, though, and after that Dunning faced just one over the minimum for the next four innings. When Dunning left after the fifth, his final line was 5 IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 6 Ks.
  • Dunning’s command was awful early on in the first, but after a visit from Doug Mathis in the first, he got the ship righted, and his command was much improved the rest of the way. Chris Woodward said after the game that Mathis talked to Dunning about a mechanical adjustment that he needed to make, that apparently sparked the improvement. We noted last week that Dunning’s early season success seemed to stem from his stellar early command, and it may be that Dunning has gotten things back on track in that regard.
  • Kolby Allard continued his rather remarkable first month of the season with 2.2 scoreless innings, striking out 4 against a hit and a walk. Allard now has a 1.80 ERA on the season, and is generating a swinging strike rate around 14% this season. Given that Allard is a command guy with what’s been considered marginal stuff, that’s awfully impressive, even in a relief role.
  • The combination of Dunning, a sinker/slider righty who works down in the strike zone, with Allard, a four seamer/cutter lefty who works up in the zone, seems to potentially provide a pretty significant contrast in styles that could help Allard (and the Rangers, obviously) if he’s paired with Dunning going forward.
  • Josh Sborz pitched a perfect 1.1 IP. Hey, Josh Sborz is back!
  • Down 4-0 after 1, the Rangers scored a run in the first, two more in the second, got us all excited about erasing the lead, then put up goose eggs the rest of the way. It was very vexing.
  • Two hit games for Nick Solak, who also got an HBP (again), and Nate Lowe, who also got a walk. Solak is slashing .319/.404/.582 which...I mean, damn. That’s good. Nate Lowe is slashing .280/.368/.505, which is also good.
  • Joey Gallo didn’t get on base for the first time all season. That home run yesterday obviously messed him up. He needs to go back to playing small ball and slapping the ball the other way, I guess.
  • Josh Sborz was the high velocity guy for the Rangers today, touching 97.0 mph. Kolby Allard had a couple of four seamers at 92.8 mph, and Dane Dunning had a sinker at 91.5 mph.
  • Isiah Kiner-Falefa had a 105.4 mph single today, and Nate Lowe had a 105.0 mph single. The only other Ranger hitter to crack 100 mph was Willie Calhoun, who had a 102.7 mph lineout.
  • So that series could have gone better, but it could have gone worse, and now Boston comes to town. The team, not the band.