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Thoughts on an 8-1 Rangers win

Rangers 8, Astros 1

Houson Astros v Texas Rangers Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Rangers 8, Astros 1

  • Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher.
  • So while things seemed bleak after the 15-1 stomping the Rangers suffered on Monday, the next day’s starting pitcher was Jordan Lyles, so we knew things would be fine on Tuesday.
  • Lyles performed remarkably against the Astros, throwing seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out seven. It was easily his best outing as a Ranger. In fact, using Game Score — an admittedly imperfect device, but nonetheless an objective measure of a starter’s performance — this was Lyles’ fourth best start of his career, and the best start he’s had since May, 2018, with the Padres.
  • Lyles is leading the American League in both hits allowed and earned runs allowed (after leading the majors in earned runs allowed last year), and is leading the majors in home runs, thanks to Mike Foltynewicz’s stint on the COVID-19 injured list. His performance brought his bWAR on the season up to 0.0. But he made one of the best offensive’s in baseball look helpless.
  • Jharel Cotton, continuing his September audition, threw a scoreless eighth inning, giving up a 4.15 ERA on the year — the same ERA as Josh Sborz has as well, after he allowed a run in the ninth.
  • The Rangers put up crooked numbers in the game, which is always fun to see. Nathaniel Lowe put the Rangers on the board in the first with a two out home run to right center that Statcast measured at 440 feet. See what happens when you hit the ball in the air, Nathaniel?
  • Adolis Garcia had a two run shot of his own, measured at 438 feet, in the third to make it a 4-0 game. That’s Garcia’s 30th home run of the season, tying him with Pete Incaviglia for the team record for most home runs by a rookie. 30 home runs also is a number that sticks in my head for Rangers hitters because for the longest time, when I was a kid, that was the team record for home runs in a season, period, with Jeff Burroughs having done it in 1974.
  • The Rangers didn’t hit a lot of homers back in the day.
  • The Rangers made it a laugher in the sixth, with an Adolis double, a Lowe walk, a Nick Solak RBI single, and a DJ Peters three run home run (this one measured at 421 feet) giving them an 8-0 lead. DJ Peters has issues connecting, but when he does make contact, he can hit it a long, long way.
  • Josh Sborz had 98.5 mph with his fastball, while Jharel Cotton reached 95.6 mph. Jordan Lyles topped out at 95.0 mph.
  • The home runs from Peters, Adolis and Lowe registered at 110.7, 108.6 and 107.6 mph off the bat, respectively, and were the three hardest hit balls of the game. Adolis also had a 102.0 mph double and a 103.2 mph fly out. Nick Solak at 1 106.5 mph single and a 99.6 mph ground out. Leody Taveras had a 104.4 mph ground out. Yonny Hernandez had a 100.5 mph ground out.
  • 18 games to go.