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Thoughts on a 10-6 Rangers loss

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Indians 10, Rangers 6

Texas Rangers v Cleveland Indians Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

Indians 10, Rangers 6

  • It is late August. Labor Day is approaching. We are heading into the final month of the season. The 2021 campaign for your Texas Rangers will soon be coming to a merciful end.
  • We are in the “let’s hope no one gets hurt” stage, along with the “open tryouts for 2022” stage, and so when we look at the results of games as much as anything it is, how is this impacting things going forward.
  • So while the Rangers had a disastrous outing from their starting pitcher, Jordan Lyles, on Thursday, it doesn’t really matter, because Lyles won’t be here in 2022. Well, I mean, I guess he could be back in some capacity, but he is a free agent at the end of the season, the trade deadline has come and gone so it isn’t like there’s a “building trade value” component to any of his outings, and he’s basically here for the time being because the Rangers need bodies and need folks to throw innings, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak that has sidelined many of the guys who would normally be on the active roster.
  • Lyles gave up eight runs in 3.2 IP. He now has a 5.70 ERA on the season. I learned from the broadcast last night that the 142 IP that Lyles has thrown this year is a career high for him. His top four seasons in innings pitched are 142.0, 141.2, 141.1, 140.0. I kind of want him to not pitch for the rest of the season just so that weird collection of data can be preserved.
  • And Lyles may not pitch again this season. Part of that depends, of course, on how quickly guys in the COVID-19 protocol return. But with September roster expansion limited to just two extra players, if Texas wants to give Glenn Otto a look, and wants to keep Spencer Howard and Taylor Hearn and Kolby Allard and Dane Dunning in the rotation, then you’re not in the same situation as in years past where you could just hang on to a guy and stick him in the bullpen or something for the final month, just in case, because hey, you can expand up to a 40 man roster so what difference does it make.
  • Anyway. Dennis Santana, who is auditioning for 2022, but whose performance to date suggests he’ll be on the outside looking in, allowed a run in 1.1 innings to someone named Owen Miller. Miller is a rookie who, after Thursday’s performance, has a 506 OPS on the year. Miller was one of the guys the Indians got from San Diego in the Mike Clevinger trade, in case you were wondering.
  • Josh Sborz and Demarcus Evans each had scoreless innings. Evans, who has been sometimes good and sometimes quite not good this year, got into immediate trouble in his inning, giving up a softly hit single and a not softly hit single to start the inning, but then struck out the next three batters he faced so, you know, alls well that ends well.
  • Spencer Patton also pitched, which I know excites all of you.
  • The Rangers were down 4-0 after one inning, then put up a pair of runs in the second and the third inning, leading us to think, hey, maybe this game can be won! And then Lyles gave up four more runs in the fourth, and then Santana gave up his home run in the fifth, and that was pretty much that. But we got the thrill of thinking we were in it for a couple of innings.
  • Hey, Nick Solak is doing some things! Solak was brought up when the Rangers needed COVID replacements, and I was dismissive of it, saying he was probably just here because they needed a body and he wasn’t likely to play much or be ready to return to action. Solak has started the last four games, gotten hits in each, and homered and singled in Thursday’s game. So there’s a very small sample size of positivity for Solak so far.
  • Jose Trevino had a good game, singling, doubling and walking. He also allowed five stolen bases. Trevino has started the last five games in a row with Jonah Heim sidelined because of COVID protocols, and I guess we shall see if Heim returns before the Rangers bite the bullet and give Yohel Pozo, their backup catcher in Heim’s absence, a shot behind the plate.
  • Also two hit nights for Andy Ibanez, who has a bunch of multi-hit games in a row now — I knew the number but don’t remember now — and D.J. Peters, who had a single and a homer. When Peters makes contact he can hit it very far and very hard. He’s just not done a great job of doing that often enough as a Ranger. But again, it is open audition time, and he, as well as Ibanez, will get the chance over the final month to do their things.
  • Dennis Santana topped out at 97.5 mph on his four seamer. Josh Sborz hit 97.4 mph with his four seamer. Jordan Lyles’ four seamer maxed out at 93.8 mph. Demarcus Evans touched 91.4 mph. Spencer Patton maxed out at 93.4 mph.
  • Nick Solak hit the ball hard on Thursday, with his single having an exit velocity of 106.2 mph and his home run an EV of 105.3. D.J. Peters’ single was 104.5 mph, while his home run was just 97.7 mph. Andy Ibanez had a 100.1 mph double.
  • And the Rangers return home now to play the hated Houston Astros. Huzzah.