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Thoughts on a 3-0 Rangers loss

Padres 3, Rangers 0

MLB: San Diego Padres at Texas Rangers Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Padres 3, Rangers 0

  • Whenever a pitcher is in the late innings of a game on the road where he has allowed no hits, you’ll get to a point — usually around the 8th inning — where there’s a shift in the atmosphere at the stadium, and the announcers start talking about how the home fans are rooting for the opposing pitcher, because everyone wants to witness this great fear, a no hitter.
  • And I haven’t understood that. I don’t want to see my team no hit, whether I’m at the stadium or not. I don’t want to witness that. If my team is down to their final out and a bloop single the other way barely falls in, my feeling isn’t going to be dismay or is going to be relief. Let some other team be no hit.
  • So yeah, I didn’t like this game. I didn’t get the thrill a baseball fan should, I guess, over watching a no hitter. I was annoyed it happened against the Texas Rangers.
  • I remember Mike Witt’s perfect game against the Rangers in 1984, and I didn’t like it, even though a perfect game is special and rare. I was doing LSB when Mark Buehrle pitched his no hitter against the Rangers in 2007, and while I haven’t gone back and looked, I’m sure I was put out about it. I don’t remember Jim Colborn pitching a new hitter for the Kansas City Royals in 1977 against the Rangers, though.
  • Colborn joined the Rangers as a Pacific Rim scout in 2007, and was with the team at least into 2013. He may have seen Kohei Arihara at some point while scouting for the Rangers, and Arihara started for the Rangers today, getting the loss in the game where Joe Musgrove threw the first no hitter in San Diego Padres history, and thus we have the circle of life.
  • In his postgame comments, Chris Woodward described Joe Musgrove’s breaking ball as “elite.”
  • Anyway. Enough of that.
  • Arihara wasn’t any great shakes tonight, going only four innings, giving up 5 hits and 3 runs, striking out 1 and walking 1. One of the runs was unearned, as with one out in the second, and Wil Myers on second (having doubled in Eric Hosmer), Tommy Pham lofted a deep fly to right-ish center field, which Leody Taveras caught at the wall, but then dropped when he was transitioning the ball from his glove to his hand. The out counted, but the ball got far enough away from Leody that Myers, who was tagging anyway, was able to score, making it 2-0.
  • It’s worth noting the Rangers got five innings of very solid work out of their bullpen — one inning from Kyle Cody, two innings from John King (who struck out 4), and an inning apiece from Josh Sborz and Taylor Hearn. Over that stretch the relievers walked one and allowed three hits, all singles, one of them a bunt single by Trent Grisham, who I don’t think of as a drag hunting wizard, but maybe that’s because I’m not attentive enough or maybe that’s because I’m just too close-minded. They struck out eight Padres in those five innings, which is good.
  • I am wondering if Arihara isn’t going to end up losing his regular starting spot to Jordan Lyles or Dane Dunning, and wind up in a tandem role. He may be better suited to going through the lineup only twice...although I guess any pitcher is better suited going through the lineup twice than going through the lineup three times. I saw a piece recently that found the third time through the order penalty was actually more pronounced back in the days when starting pitchers were expected to go through the order three times. So maybe the Rangers should just have a pitching staff of ten guys who face 18 batters apiece, and then a couple of guys in the bullpen who come in to mop up as needed.
  • This is normally where I talk about the offense’s performance, but there’s no need for that.
  • Kyle Cody and Josh Sborz each hit 97.3 mph tonight, with Cody registering at least 97.0 on two other pitches. Taylor Hearn topped out at 95.9 and had several other pitches in the 95s. John King reached 95.0 mph on a sinker today and, you know, I didn’t think he was supposed to be able to do that. King was mostly around 93-94 with his fastball. Arihara maxed out at 94.7.
  • Three Rangers had triple digit exit velocities tonight. Nate Lowe had a 108.7 mph line out that had an expected batting average of .780. Isiah Kiner-Falefa had groundouts of 103.1 and 100.1. David Dahl’s pinch hit fly out in the 9th was 97.7 off the bat, with an expected batting average of .890.
  • History has been made. And there’s another game tomorrow.