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Thoughts on a 5-3 Rangers loss

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Dodgers 5, Rangers 3

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Dodgers 5, Rangers 3

  • So much for winning a road series.
  • That was an unfortunate game. It was a winnable game, in fact.
  • Dane Dunning allowed four runs in four innings of work, though he pitched better than that line suggests. He had his usual first inning issues, giving up a run two batters in on a walk-double combo, then hit the third batter of the game, but got out of the jam with a GIDP and a K.
  • In the second Dunning went infield hit, strikeout, walk, pick off by Jonah Heim of the runner at second, strikeout. Things seemed to be fine.
  • The third inning was when things went bad, though a lot of it was misfortune more than bad pitching. Dunning got up 0-2 on Mookie Betts, threw three pitches out of the zone to try to make him chase, and then got him to swing at a pitch up and away that probably would have been ball four had it been taken. Instead, Betts went the other way with it, and it snuck into the seats for a home run measured at 348 feet. 2-0 Dodgers.
  • Gavin Lux then hit a sky high pop up behind second base, that Isiah Kiner-Falefa appeared to be under...until he gave way for Adolis Garcia, who wasn’t anywhere near close enough to be able to catch it, resulting in a single. Chris Taylor hit a softly stroked single. A ground out put runners at second and third with one out, but Dunning A.J. Pollock to hit a grounder to third that Lux initially broke home on, then got trapped for the second out. It seemed like Dunning would escape...until Zach McKinstry doubled home the runners, making it 4-0. Luke Raley then had a slow roller in the infield that rolled dead rather than foul before Austin Barnes flew out to end the inning.
  • Dunning got Walker Buehler to ground out in the fourth before fanning Betts and Lux, at which point his day was done.
  • Dunning didn’t have his best game today, but he was bedeviled by particularly bad fortune in the third. The Betts home run went to the right part of the park to avoid being a fly out. The Lux pop up gave the Dodgers an extra out that McKinstry took advantage of with his two out double. Dunning struck out five of the twenty batters he faced, which is a ratio you’re happy with, and gave up some weak hits. It wasn’t a great game, but it was a better game than four runs in four innings would suggest.
  • John King relieved Dunning and went 2.1 IP, allowing a hit and a walk and getting saddled with a run when Betts, who reached on a 57.5 mph single to lead off the inning, came around to score on a two out Matt Beaty single off of Spencer Patton with two outs. Brett Martin pitched a scoreless eighth and was fine.
  • The offense got a great opportunity against Walker Buehler in the first inning, when Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Joey Gallo and Nate Lowe all walked, loading the bases with two outs. Alas, Nick Solak grounded out to end the inning.
  • The Rangers continued to fail to take advantage of opportunities over the next few innings. Jonah Heim had one out singles in the second and in the fourth but couldn’t be brought in. Gallo and Lowe had two out singles in the third but were stranded. Gallo had a two out single in the fifth. Solak had a lead off HBP in the sixth. Nothing.
  • The Rangers finally made it interesting in the ninth. Brock Holt doubled, and then Jonah Heim walked. Jason Martin had a pinch hit single to bring home a run, then Isiah Kiner-Falefa brought home another run with a single. Phil Bickford, who had been asked to protect the five run lead, was lifted for Kenley Jansen, who promptly gave up an RBI single to Willie Calhoun. Adolis Garcia singled, and suddenly it waS 5-3 with the bases loaded and no one out. The Rangers had a chance to pull it out all the sudden.
  • It was false hope. Joey Gallo popped up, Nate Lowe popped up, Nick Solak grounded out, and that was game.
  • Dammit.
  • Brett Martin topped the Rangers pitchers radar readings with a 95.3 mph four seamer. John King hit 94.0 mph. Spencer Patton reached 93.6 and Dane Dunning 91.6.
  • Adolis Garcia had a 110.5 mph fly out. Brock Holt’s ninth inning double was 105.7 mph. Nate Lowe had a 100.7 mph ground out.
  • And now we head into an off day before a two game series in Houston. Maybe the Rangers can win another road game.