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Thoughts on a 6-5 Rangers loss

Astros 6, Rangers 5

Texas Rangers v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Astros 6, Rangers 5

  • Is it more frustrating to fall behind early and lose, or to fall behind early, make a late comeback, and lose?
  • One of the advantages about this being a “its about development and the future not wins and losses” season is that falling just short is a little less frustrating. And you can appreciate the fact that there were good things that happened late that help bode well for the future even if the end result was a loss.
  • Don’t get me wrong, though, losing still sucks.
  • Dane Dunning gave us another lesson last night in the importance of command when you are a command-oriented pitcher. Dunning got hammered in the first inning, and has generally been the case when he’s been hammered, he couldn’t locate his slider. He also wasn’t doing a great job of locating his two seamer, either — he left it up over the plate a lot — but his slider is Dunning’s swing-and-miss pitch, and he threw it only 13 times, generating just 4 swings and no swings-and-misses. That’s a recipe for disaster for Dunning.
  • Dunning gave up four runs in the first inning, then shut out the Astros over the final three innings, though that was mostly good fortune rather than Dunning pitching that much better. His end line was 4 IP, 7 hits, 3 walks, 3 Ks, 2 wild pitches, and a home run. His ERA on the season is now 4.34.
  • Kolby Allard came in in relief to start the fifth and needed 49 pitches to retire 5 batters, though he didn’t allow any runs. Two hits, three walks, 2 Ks, ERA down to 3.18.
  • Hunter Wood, called up earlier in the day, relieved Allard and allowed a pair of runs on a Kyle Tucker home run that ended up being the difference in the game.
  • Josh Sborz pitched a scoreless 8th and didn’t allow a run, and maybe Josh Sborz is good. I know, I’m having a hard time with the concept as well.
  • It looked like the Rangers were going to do that thing where they get on the board early and then don’t score the rest of the way, but they had a big 8th inning to get back into the game and make it look like maybe they’d win. The first inning run was courtesy of a one out Nick Solak triple followed by a Nate Lowe sacrifice fly. Joey Gallo and Adolis Garcia followed that up with singles, and it looked like maybe there’d be a big first inning, but David Dahl popped out and the bats hibernated for a while.
  • Hibernated until the eighth, to be exact. A Solak single-Lowe walk-Gallo home run sequence to start the inning suddenly made it a 6-4 game. Dahl drew a one out walk and Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled to put the tying run at first. Andy Ibanez grounded into a fielder’s choice to bring home a run, but pinch hitter Khris Davis flew out for the third out. It was a 1-2-3 ninth so that was that.
  • Really good game for Nick Solak, who had a single, a triple and two walks. Joey Gallo had two singles to go with his bomb. Jonah Heim, who has struggled this year at the plate, had a pair of hits.
  • Josh Sborz was the fastest Ranger pitcher, hitting 97.1 mph with his four seamer. Hunter Wood hit 94.3 mph with his four seamer. Kolby Allard was at 93.2 mph. Dane Dunning his 92.1 mph with his two seamer.
  • A lot of loud contact — by both teams — in the game. Joey Gallo had the high exit velocity, with his first inning single being 112.5 mph off the bat. Gallo’s home run was 105.6 mph. Jonah Heim’s two singles were 103.0 and 102.1 mph. Nick Solak had a 100.2 mph single. Willie Calhoun had a 107.8 mph ground out, David Dahl had a 103.4 mph fly out, and Adolis Garcia had a 101.1 mph line out.
  • I don’t want to see the Rangers get swept. Particularly not by the Astros. Let’s not have that happen today, huh?