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Thoughts on an 8-6 Rangers win

Rangers 8, A’s 6

MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 8, A’s 6

  • That was a remarkable and fun game. I’m glad I watched it.
  • Over 162 games, particularly for a bad team, there are a lot of mundane games, a lot of wet farts, a lot of games which seem to be slight variations on the same old disappointment. But there also will be games like today’s game where things break right, where the impossible happens, where the odds are overcome and there’s an unexpected win and it gives a rush, even in a meaningless September for a last place team.
  • Things went sideways even before the first pitch, as Kolby Allard, slated to get the start, was a late scratch due to illness. That meant Wes Benjamin, who is on the team as a long man, was pressed into duty as a last minute starter.
  • Benjamin hadn’t pitched since a one inning outing on September 1. He was, not surprising, rusty, and struggled with his command. The A’s hit three homers off of Benjamin, and chased him with one out in the fourth, having scored six runs. It looked like a loss for the Rangers was a given.
  • Jharel Cotton, another of the pitchers auditioning for the right to stick around on the 40 man roster this offseason, came in for what seemed like was a garbage time assignment, soaking up some innings in what seemed destined to be a blowout. Cotton faced nine batters, retired eight, and got the Rangers to the seventh inning with no additional runs allowed. Brett Martin pitched a scoreless seventh. Spencer Patton pitched a scoreless eighth. The ninth wasn’t going to matter because the Rangers were going to lose and it’s a road game and so Oakland wouldn’t bat in the ninth.
  • Except, of course, good things happened for Texas late in the game.
  • Backing up a bit, the Rangers had at least gotten on the board in the middle innings. They stranded a pair in the second, but in the fourth inning, DJ Peters singled, then ran through a stop sign on a Nick Solak double to attempt to score. It looked like he would be out, but he was called safe at home, and while a replay seemed to suggest that Peters hit the catcher’s glove, holding the ball, on home plate before actually touching the plate, there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the safe call, giving the Rangers their first run. A Yohel Pozo single then brought Solak home, and what had been a 3-0 deficit was now 3-2.
  • The A’s got three more runs in the bottom of the fourth, however, and Texas had no hits and one walk over the next three innings. Top of the eighth inning, it seemed the game was effectively over, we were just waiting on the final six Rangers outs.
  • Then, with one out in the eighth, Adolis Garcia singled off of Sergio Romo. DJ Peters followed that by launching a 2-2 slider into the left center field bleachers, making it 6-4. It was looking more like a ballgame.
  • Nathaniel Lowe drew a four pitch walk. Nick Solak fouled out, though Lowe stole second. Yohel Pozo doubled, and it was 6-5. Andrew Chafin was brought into the game to face former A Jonah Heim. Heim fell down 0-2, then, like Peters, he launched a slider to deep left center and out of the park. Suddenly, Texas was up 7-6.
  • For insurance, Leody Taveras led off the ninth with a barreled blast out of the park to left-center, making it 8-6. Leody has had an up and down year, but he’s looked like a player of late, and the homer today was a legit shot.
  • It paved the way for Joe Barlow to pitch a scoreless ninth to pick up the save, and give the Rangers a win to celebrate.
  • Wins are fun.
  • Joe Barlow topped out at 96.1 mph. Spencer Patton hit 95.6 mph. Jharel Cotton reached 94.4 mph. Brett Martin touched 93.7 mph, and Wes Benjamin maxed out at 92.0 mph.
  • DJ Peters had the hardest hit ball of the day, a 112.2 single, while his home run was 102.3 mph. Nick Solak’s double was 102.2 mph. Jonah Heim had a 108.5 mph homer and a 107.1 mph double. Yohel Pozo had singles of 107.9 mph and 103.2 mph. Nathaniel Lowe had a 105.4 mph groundout. Leody Taveras’s homer was 101.8 mph.
  • Tomorrow is another day, and another game. Maybe Texas will win the game, and take the series. Hopefully, win or lose, we will see some more positive results from some guys like Leody Taveras and DJ Peters and Nick Solak.