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Thoughts on a 9-8 Rangers loss

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Angels 9, Rangers 8

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels
Are you there, God? It’s me, Joey...
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Angels 9, Rangers 8

  • Alas.
  • Whats better? A stomping like yesterday, where you’re out of it early and there’s little good that comes out of it? Or a game like today, where the team falls behind early, but then does some really good things offensively to get back in it, only to fall just short?
  • A rebuilding season makes it easier to say a game like today’s. YMMV.
  • I’d like for Dane Dunning to stop giving up so many first inning runs.
  • With five runs scoring in the first on Dunning today, he has now allowed 14 runs in the first inning of games, and 11 runs in every other inning.
  • Expanding on that, he’s allowed 24 runs in odd numbered innings this year, and 1 in even numbered innings.
  • Dunning barely threw his slider — considered his best pitch — today, going with it just 7 times out of 68 pitches. He may just not have felt he had the feel for it today — he went with his cutter and his knuckle curve a total of eight times, so he may have been searching for a breaking ball he felt good about today.
  • Anyway, after the bad first inning that featured a Justin Upton lead off home run for the second day in a row, followed by two outs and then a walk-single-single-home run sequence, Dunning got three the next three innings before getting knocked out in the fifth after two batters — a walk and a double.
  • Wes Benjamin, brought into the game down 6-1, got a strike out and then went single-double-single before getting the final two outs.
  • So yesterday the Rangers were down 9-1 after four innings. Today the Rangers were down 59-1 after five innings. Progress?
  • Benjamin went two more innings and faced the minimum over that stretch, allowing just a Shohei Ohtani infield single, with Ohtani then getting erased on a double play. Benjamin also struck out four batters today, so that was good.
  • Joely Rodriguez got the bottom of the eighth after a Ranger rally got the team within one, and pitched well, though for naught. Or nought? One of those.
  • Anyway. There was not much happening for the Rangers offensively in the early going, other than an Adolis Garcia home run to lead off the fourth. Yeah, I’m gobsmacked Adolis is still doing this, too.
  • After the bad bottom of the fifth, Nick Solak led off the sixth with a triple, followed by a Nate Lowe home run, which seemed like it would just be a death rattle. The seventh had a two out rally of sorts, with a Jonah Heim single and a Willie Calhoun walk, but nothing came of that.
  • Big noise in the eighth, though. I was actually thinking they might find a way to pull this one out in the eighth.
  • Tony Watson came into the game to pitch the eighth. Nate Lowe walked, and after an Adolis fly out, Joey Gallo went deep, making it 9-5. Hooray! Dolly Parton jokes for the post game headlines!
  • Texas kept it going, though. A Khris Davis single. An Isiah Kiner-Falefa single. Someone named Mike Mayers came into the game and gave up a ground rule double to Brock Holt. Jason Martin, newly arrived, pinch hit, but struck out swinging, putting a hiccup in the Jason Martin Story for 2021. Willie Calhoun then doubled, though, making it 9-8, with the go-ahead run at the plate in Nick Solak.
  • Raisel Iglesias entered the game and retired Solak, though. And while Nate Lowe singled to start the ninth, Adolis, Gallo and Davis all struck out, ending the game.
  • Dang it.
  • Velocity marks for Rangers pitchers...Joely Rodriguez’s one four seamer of the game clocked in at 96.1 mph. Wes Benjamin’s top four seamer was 93.2 mph. Dane Dunning’s fastest sinker was 92.2 mph.
  • The Rangers hitters had some scary high exit velocities today — the seven hardest hit balls of the game, and ten of the twelve hardest, were by Ranger hitters. Joey Gallo’s home run was 114.1 mph off the bat, and he had fly outs that were 103.1 and 102.1 mph (though that was with a launch angle of around 60 degrees, which means those weren’t going for hits unless the ball was lost in the sun). Willie Calhoun had a 106.5 mph single and a 106.4 mph double, plus a ground out at 108.5 mph. Adolis Garcia’s home run was 107.2 mph. Nate Lowe’s home run was 106.2 mph. Nick Solak had a 109.4 mph ground out. Isiah Kiner-Falefa had a 107.1 mph line out.
  • A pox on Orange County. And a pox on John Wayne Airport, too.