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Thoughts on an 8-4 Rangers win

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Rangers 8, Astros 4

MLB: Houston Astros at Texas Rangers Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 8, Astros 4

  • Two in a row! Woo hoo!
  • And Texas won a Jordan Lyles start, too.
  • In fairness, Lyles hasn’t been bad his last few outings. That said, he wasn’t good today. Lyles did make it through six innings, which didn’t seem likely early on, when he allowed a pair of runs in the first and another in the second. When Chas McCormick, who I still can’t believe is a real player, took Lyles deep to lead off the second and make it 3-0, it felt like he was on the ropes. The question, it seemed, was how big a hole he’d put the Rangers in before he got yanked.
  • However, things stayed under control, and Lyles only gave up one more run before leaving the game after the sixth. He wasn’t fooling anyone today — Lyles generated just 4 swinging strikes out of 87 pitches today, which is quite poor, and he wasn’t locating his fastball or his slider well. But he results were good enough for the Rangers to be in position to win today.
  • Hunter Wood entered the game for the seventh and got the first two outs before things got problematic for him. After walking Alex Bregman, Wood’s first pitch to Yordan Alvarez bounced in front of the plate. Chris Woodward and the trainer came out, and Wood left the game with what was later announced as right elbow tightness. This was Wood’s fourth appearance in five games, and while he didn’t throw many pitches in his previous three outings, you do end up wondering if that made a difference. In any case, he’s being evaluated tomorrow, but I think we are bracing for the worst here.
  • Kolby Allard came in relief of Wood and finished the seventh then pitched a scoreless eighth. With a four run lead going into the ninth I expected Allard to get a chance to finish it out, but Josh Sborz got the nod in the ninth. He finished it out, allowing a hit while striking out one, preserving the victory and reacting to the final out in the celebratory fashion you see above.
  • Texas threatened in the first and second and made Astros starter Lance McCullers, Jr., throw a ton of pitches, but they couldn’t get any runs across. The first inning featured two walks and four strikeouts, with Joey Gallo reaching after fanning on a two out, two strike pitch with two on that bounded away from catcher Martin Maldonado. The second saw a pair of runners reach but no one score.
  • Texas finally broke through in the third, scoring a pair of runs when a Nate Lowe single and a Joey Gallo walk set the stage for a two out Isiah Kiner-Falefa two run double. Adolis Garcia gave the Rangers a third run with a home run to lead off the fifth against McCullers.
  • Things blew up in the seventh. Garcia had another lead off home run, this time against Andre Scrub. After launching what would be the game-tying home run, Garcia turned to Maldonado and said something before running the bases. Asked after the game what he said, Garcia demurred, simply saying that he was responded to something Maldonado said earlier.
  • Khris Davis, who has been mired in a slump since, well, since being activated pretty much, smoked a one out double to right field. Scrubb was lifted for someone named Enoli Paredes, who got Isiah Kiner-Falefa to hit an easy tapper, but then booted it for an E-1. Brock Holt pinch hit for Charlie Culberson and walked, loading the bases for Jose Trevino, who barely missed a home run and thus settled for a two run double. After a Willie Calhoun K, Nick Solak walked to load the bases, and Nate Lowe crushed a ball that Alex Bregman made a play on but then threw away, allowing two more runs to come home, though Solak was thrown out trying to go to third.
  • End result was a big five run inning that turned a deficit into a big Ranger lead, and allowed us all to go home happy. Well, us all Rangers fans, anyway. I don’t think Astros fans left happy. I don’t care, though, as long as they left.
  • Josh Sborz was the hardest throwing Ranger pitcher today, reached 97.5 mph. Hunter Wood threw two fastballs, at 94.7 and 94.5. Jordan Lyles touched 94.0 mph, and Kolby Allard topped out at 93.3.
  • The seven hardest hit balls of the game were all off the bats of Rangers, led by Nate Lowe’s seventh inning grounder that Bregman made the error on, which was 111.6 mph off the bat. Adolis Garcia’s home runs were 106.9 and 105.6 mph. Khris Davis’s double was 103.6 mph. Joey Gallo had a fly out at 103.1 mph, and Nick Solak and Isiah Kiner-Falefa had singles at 102.6 mph and 102.3 mph.
  • Its a two game winning streak for Texas now. Mike Foltynewicz and Cristian Javier square off tomorrow, with Texas getting a chance to win another four game series.