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Thoughts on a 5-4 Rangers win

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Rangers 5, M’s 4

Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Rangers 5, Mariners 4

  • And the road losing streak is now over. Huzzah.
  • The Rangers last road win was on July 3, 2021 — at Seattle, actually. It was a fourteen game road losing streak that the Rangers broke with their 5-4 win on Tuesday.
  • I continue to marvel at the fact that the Rangers are so ludicrously bad on the road. They are not particularly good at home either — their .464 home winning percentage is significantly less than the league’s .551 home winning percentage as a whole. But the league has a .449 road winning percentage, while the Rangers’ road winning percentage of .246 is a whopping 203 points lower.
  • Anyway, they tried not to win on Wednesday, as well. Kolby Allard went six innings and threw strikes — 64 of 91 pitches were strikes, and he didn’t walk anyone — but he did give up back-to-back home runs to Mitch Haniger and Kyle Seager in the fourth inning. The Rangers have preached trusting your stuff and throwing strikes to Rangers pitchers, but the trade off, of course, is that you’re going to give up some hard hit balls from time to time.
  • Mitch Haniger, in particular, seemed to be seeing Allard quite well on Tuesday. Haniger’s homer was a barrel, per Statcast, as was a first inning flyout that Statcast had as 107.5 mph off the bat, traveling 402 feet and with a .920 xBA. Haniger also had a fifth inning GIDP that was 106.7 mph off the bat. Maybe the next time Allard faces the M’s, he should pitch around Mitch Haniger.
  • In any case, it was a quality start for Allard, and his ERA is now 4.93 on the season, with a 4.43 xERA and a 4.62 FIP, numbers that would be better if he were doing this at the old ballpark rather than the Shed, but are good enough that he can’t definitively be ruled out as a possible rotation option going forward. Good times.
  • Dennis Santana and Joe Barlow pitched the seventh and eighth, respectively, and allowed no runs. Barlow’s ongoing performance is one of the interesting plot lines for the Rangers right now — the question with Barlow has never been his stuff, it has been his command and his ability to consistently throw strikes. Barlow faced four batters on Wednesday and didn’t throw a first pitch strike to any of them, and he left several pitches out over the plate, but escaped with no damage. From a process standpoint, it wasn’t the best of outings for Barlow, but as long as this is the exception rather than the rule going forward, it should be fine.
  • The Rangers went to the ninth tied at two, got a run on an Adolis Garcia home run, and then newly anointed closer Spencer Patton came extremely close to losing the game anyway. Patton, who had walked just seven of 84 batters faced in the majors this season coming into the game, walked the first two batters he faced, both on 3-2 pitches. Pitch hitter Cal Raleigh then looped a 3-2 pitch for soft single to left, loading the bases. Patton then promptly walked Jake Fraley on five pitches. The game was tied in the bottom of the ninth, the bases were loaded, there was no one out and J.P. Crawford, Mitch Haniger and Kyle Seager were due up.
  • I can’t imagine many Rangers fans kept watching at this point. I mean, doom was imminent. There was no way the Rangers were going to keep Seattle off the board at this point. Avoid the misery, turn off the TV or radio, accept a fourteenth straight road loss.
  • But no. Patton struck out Crawford swinging. Then he struck out Haniger swinging. And then Chris Woodward, not wanting to press his luck, brought in Brett Martin to face Seager. Martin threw a first pitch strike, threw three straight balls, then elicited a sky-high popup from Seager for the third out.
  • The Rangers scored a pair in the tenth, and Martin had to make it exciting in the bottom of the tenth, giving up a single to make it 5-4 (zombie runner, you know) before getting Abraham Toro to hit into a double play. Jake Bauers singled, bringing Jarred Kelenic up as the winning run, and Kelenic smoked a Martin four seamer, but smoked it to Andy Ibanez, who was able to go to first to retire Kelenic and end the game.
  • Hurray for the visitors.
  • Along with Garcia’s home run, Jason Martin also homered in the second inning. D.J. Peters drove in Jonah Heim in the fifth with a double. And in the tenth, after Peters and Curtis Terry each fouled out to start the inning, Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled home zombie runner Martin, went to second on the throw, and then was able to score on Yonny Hernandez’s single.
  • Just in case you were wondering how the Rangers managed to actually score runs on the road.
  • Kolby Allard topped out at 93.2 mph on his four seamer, averaging 91.8 mph for the game. Joe Barlow maxed out at 94.3 mph with his four seamer and averaged 93.9 mph, almost a full tick below his 94.8 mph average for the season. Dennis Santana hit 96.5 mph and averaged 95.4 mph on his sinker. Brett Martin touched 94.3 mph and averaged 94.7 mph with his four seamer. Spencer Patton reached 93.9 mph on his four seamer and averaged 92.9 mph.
  • Jason Martin’s home run was 108.1 mph off the bat, and he also had a 104.2 mph groundout. Adolis Garcia’s home run had an exit velocity of 105.8 mph, and he had a 102.7 mph flyout (though that was one of those Joey Gallo style popups that went really high and didn’t go very far). Garcia also had a groundout at 101.3 mph and a flyout at 100.3 mph. Jonah Heim had a 103.4 mph lineout and a 102.1 mph single. D.J. Peters’ double was 99.9 mph off the bat.
  • Onward we go. At least now the Rangers aren’t on a losing streak, road or otherwise.