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Thoughts on a 5-4 Rangers win

Rangers 5, A’s 4

SFChronicleAsRangers Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Rangers 5, A’s 4

  • I am back from Disney World and thus can resume thoughts posts again. And I am doing so after a road win in Oakland! Who woulda thought...
  • Mike Foltynewicz started for Texas, and I was not feeling good about things when he gave up a solo home run to the second batter he faced. Foltynewicz is leading the American League in home runs allowed, and this seemed to be a precursor to much damage and crooked numbers and a lot of bullpen innings.
  • wasn’t! Woo hoo!
  • Foltynewicz allowed a Tony Kemp double in the third, then a Jed Lowrie single with one out in the fourth that was followed by a run scoring Ramon Laureano double, which made it a 2-1 A’s lead at the time.
  • After the Laureano double, however, Foltynewicz retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced, the one batter reaching being Lowrie on a two out sixth inning walk. He ended the night with a line of 7 IP 2 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, and 6 Ks. That’ll play.
  • Foltynewicz’s ERA on the year is now 5.17. As we discussed when Foltynewicz was signed, he’s under team control for 2022, should the Rangers choose to keep him around. We tend to lump him and Jordan Lyles together as one year interim solutions, but if Foltynewicz has a better second half, is at least decent, it wouldn’t be out of the question for the Rangers to hang on to him. If nothing else, they could keep him around until the arbitration tender deadline in early December and see what the market looks like before making a decision on him.
  • Or Foltynewicz could blow up and be released by the end of July. Who knows. Its part of the mystery of life.
  • Joely Rodriguez struck out two and walked one in protecting what was a one run Rangers lead in the eighth. Texas scored a couple of insurance runs in the top of the ninth, which was a good thing, because Ian Kennedy gave up a Jed Lowrie solo homer to lead off the ninth, then gave up a Mitch Moreland home run with one out, then gave up a hard hit Elvis Andrus single with two outs to bring the winning run to the plate. The winning run was Chad Pinder, though, and he popped out to end the inning, so it all worked out.
  • The homers Kennedy allowed were 103.3 and 104.1 mph, and Elvis’s single was 104.3 mph. That is giving up loud contact.
  • The trade deadline is now 32 days away, and since there are no waiver trades after July 31 anymore, anyone who the Rangers are going to deal this year have to be moved in the next four and a half weeks. Kennedy will, I suspect, get moved — he’s a veteran, a Proven Closer (albeit in only his second season as a closer), and he has 14 saves and a 2.96 ERA this year. He also, though, has a 4.02 FIP, and has allowed 5 home runs in 27.1 IP this year after yesterday’s game. He’s actually allowed as many unintentional walks as home runs. On the one hand, teams don’t give up much for rentals anymore, but on the other hand, every contender needs relief help. I have no idea what sort of return Kennedy might fetch, and I’m interested to find out what his market is like.
  • Things started off poorly for the Rangers offense against A’s starter James Kaprielian, whose name I always want to spell with an “lan” ending instead of “lian.” Through twelve batters, the only Ranger baserunner was from a Nate Lowe single, and the first five outs of the game Kaprielian recorded were via the strikeout.
  • Never fear, though, Joey Gallo is here (at least for the next 30 days or so). Gallo put the Rangers on the board in the fourth with a majestic 412 feet home run to right-center, tying the game at one.
  • After Laureano’s double made it 2-1 in the fourth, Texas tied it back up on the fifth with a rally that looked like it could produce more. Eli White started things off with a single, and Jonah Heim doubled him home to tie the score at two. A Nick Solak single moved Heim to third base, giving the Rangers runners on the corners with no one out. An Andy Ibanez grounder to third resulted in a force out at second with Heim having to hold, and then Isiah Kiner-Falefa flew out to shallow center field. Normally, with one out and a runner on third, you are going to be aggressive in your sends from third, but Jonah Heim is a catcher and thus not fast, the ball was not hit deep, and it was Ramon Laureano, he of the highlight reel arm, in center. So Heim stayed put, and was stranded when Nate Lowe flew out to end the inning.
  • If there was fretting over the missed opportunity to take the lead, the fretting was put at least somewhat to rest quickly, as Joey Gallo hit an opposite field, somewhat less majestic than two innings ago but still pretty awesome 386 foot home run to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead.
  • Gallo was intentionally walked with a runner on second and two out in the eighth, with the Rangers still up 3-2. I can’t say I blame Oakland for that.
  • Remember the insurance runs I mentioned above? The ones that were so important in preserving the win? That was courtesy of a Nick Solak one out opposite field home run after a Jonah Heim single. It just barely made it out, but hey, it looks like a 500 foot blast in the recap.
  • Well, actually, no it doesn’t, since the play by play logs now list the distance of home runs, and Solak’s is listed at 341 feet, so it looks like a 341 foot home run in the recap. But still, its a homer.
  • Foltynewicz threw 22 4 seamers and 20 sinkers, and his max velocity of 94.8 was actually on a sinker — he hit 94.7 mph on his four seamer. Joely Rodriguez topped out at 94.6 mph, and Ian Kennedy reached 94.2 mph on his fastball.
  • Nate Lowe had the hardest hit ball of the day, 108.3 mph, but it was a ground out. Hit the ball in the air, Nate! Joey Gallo’s home runs were 105.2 and 103.8 mph. Jonah Heim had exit velocities of 106.3 mph on his double and 101.1 mph on a single. Nick Solak’s hardest hit ball was a 100.9 mph single — his home run had an exit velocity of “just” 98.9 mph.
  • Texas is now 31-48 on the year. Their Pythag won/loss would be 34-45, so in terms of run differential, they are playing a little better than the record would indicate. They have two more games at Oakland before finishing the road trip with three games at Seattle, then follow that up with a six game homestand against Detroit and Oakland.
  • And then its the All Star Break!
  • Man, the season is going by kind of fast.