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Thoughts on a 4-3 Rangers win

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Rangers 4, Giants 3

San Francisco Giants v Texas Rangers Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Rangers 4, Giants 3

  • This is one of those games that’s reminds me why I keep watching, even in the midst of an awful losing streak in the middle of a going-nowhere season.
  • The relief I felt when the Rangers won today was palpable. And I’m just some goofy lawyer who is a fan and writes about the team for fun. I can only imagine how great that felt for the players, who having been living this tailspin.
  • Even in a meaningless season — meaningless, at least, from a win-loss perspective — pulling out a game like this provides a bit of euphoria. No doubt even more so because of how bad things have been lately for this club.
  • Kyle Gibson did what we’ve come to expect from him this season, logging a Quality Start, striking out five in six innings while walking two and allowing just four hits. Unfortunately, both hits were home runs, and both came in the fifth inning, putting the Rangers in a 2-0 hole.
  • We should note here that the Rangers didn’t even get their first hit of the game until the sixth inning, so that deficit certainly felt near insurmountable.
  • John King came in and threw two shutout innings, allowing one walk and no hits while striking out two. His ERA on the year is now 2.25.
  • Spencer Patton came in the pitch the ninth with the Rangers down by a run. It was his first major league appearance since 2016, as Patton has been pitching in Japan the past four years, and has been in Round Rock this season. He had a scoreless ninth, setting the stage for what felt like false hope for a comeback.
  • Let’s back up a moment. As I noted, the Ranges didn’t get a hit until the sixth. That hit was a double by Eli White, who also had a double (and a walk!) yesterday in what was his first game back in the majors, having been recalled to replace Khris Davis, who was DFA’d yesterday. White went to third on a fly out then scored on a ground out, making it 2-1 in the sixth.
  • The Rangers didn’t get another runner on base until White got on with two outs in the eighth on an infield single. The next batter, Jonah Heim, then struck out. So heading into the bottom of the ninth the only two hits the Rangers had were from the fourth outfielder who had gotten sent down a few weeks prior for not hitting at all and who was just brought back up the day before.
  • Isiah Kiner-Falefa led off the ninth, and if IKF keeps playing well and he and the Rangers are both good at the same time one day, this is one of those things that will be referenced as an example of him coming up huge when things were at rock bottom, never saying quit, leading by example, and the like.
  • IKF got up 2-0, took a strike, fouled a pitch off, then singled. IKF then stole second and advanced to third on a Brock Holt fly out to center. Adolis Garcia, in the midst of a slump, blooped a ball to right center, bringing home IKF to tie the score. It was 2-2.
  • So it says something about where I am with things and this team that at that point I was like, okay, whatever happens now, I’m good. I tweeted that I’d count this as a moral victory. I wasn’t confident at all in a win, but tying the score in the ninth at least gave me something to feel good about.
  • Adolis was called out advancing to second, the call was challenged on replay, it was upheld, and Willie Calhoun flew out for the final out of the game.
  • So, back to the Rangers pitchers. With the zombie runner on second, Brett Martin gave up a single, runner advancing to third, then elicited a GIDP. Another ground out ended the inning, but with the zombie runner scoring the Rangers had to push a run across.
  • The Rangers did that. Nick Solak flew out to right field, allowing Willie Calhoun, who started the inning at second base, to advance to third. Jason Martin drew a ten pitch walk. Nate Lowe, hitting for Charlie Culberson, stroked the first pitch he saw to fairly deep center...not far enough to be a threat to go out, but far enough to get Calhoun home to tie the score. Martin then was caught stealing with Eli White at the plate, and on to the 11th we went.
  • Brett Martin retired all three batters he faced in the 11th, including getting the zombie runner trying to advance to third with one out on a 1-5-6 fielder’s choice. Texas needed to just score the zombie runner to win.
  • Nate Lowe went to second to start the inning. Eli White, owner of half the team’s hits on the day at the time, was asked to bunt.
  • I hate bunts.
  • White popped out trying to bunt Lowe over.
  • Jose Trevino, pinch hitting for Jonah Heim, popped up to second, so even if the bunt had worked Lowe couldn’t have scored.
  • A pox on bunts houses,
  • IKF was due up, and he was walked intentionally. The Giants decided they’d rather walk IKF and face Brock Holt with two outs and the winning run at second.
  • Brock Holt:
  • Holt laced an 0-2 pitch the other way for a single. Nate Lowe scored. Brock Holt tipped his cap to the Giants dugout in the aftermath for choosing to pitch to him.
  • The Rangers had a come-from-behind (twice!) victory. We could go into the off day happy.
  • John King hit 95.5 mph on his fastball today. Kyle Gibson hit 95.2 mph. Spencer Patton hit 95.0 mph. Brett Martin topped out at 94.9 mph.
  • Only two 100+ mph exit velocities for the Rangers today — a 102.8 mph Isiah Kiner-Falefa ground out and a 100.3 mph Nick Solak line out.
  • Lets enjoy the win for two days now.