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Thoughts on an 8-5 Rangers win

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Rangers 8, D-Backs 5

Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Rangers 8, D-Backs 5

  • And like that, the Rangers have a four game winning streak, matching their season high.
  • Yeah, four games being the longest winning streak of the season underscores how bad this season has been.
  • Kohei Arihara continued his final month audition, after bombing earlier in the year and then landing on the injured list due an aneurysm in his arm. Arihara did his typical thing, throwing seven different pitches, not missing a lot of bats, and made it throw 69 pitches and 4.2 IP, allowing a pair of runs — both in the second inning, while walking one and striking out three.
  • The Rangers are committed to seeing what they have in Arihara — Chris Woodward said before the game they were going to make sure Arihara got his pitches in, even if he came up in a bases loaded situation, and sure enough, with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the fourth, Arihara was allowed to bat. Arihara hasn’t shown enough to guarantee himself a rotation spot — or even a roster spot — in 2022, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Rangers look to outright him at some point this winter to get him off the 40 man roster, since it is unlikely he would be claimed. But he’s one of the various rotation depth guys the Rangers can look at in the final month, and he will come to spring training as one of the various internal options under consider for the rotation.
  • There was a cavalcade of relievers behind Arihara — seven of them, in fact — who generally were fine. Four of the seven relievers threw less than ten pitches, capped off by Joe Barlow getting a one out, three pitch save in relief of Demarcus Evans, who entered the ninth with a five run lead but allowed a homer and a pair of hits before giving way to Barlow.
  • There was productivity from Rangers hitters, as one would expect when eight runs are scored. Nathaniel Lowe picked up a single, a double and a triple, while Nick Solak drew a walk and had a pair of singles (though neither of Solak’s singles were all that hard hit). When the Rangers were looking decent early in the year, Lowe and Solak were hitting, and their mid-year slumps — in Solak’s case, mid-year tailspin — has been one of the bigger disappointments of the 2021 season. Each of them could use a strong finish to the year.
  • Speaking of big 2021 disappointments, Leody Taveras had a triple in five at bats, didn’t strike out, and had a little bit of bad luck on balls in play per Statcast but continued to look better at the plate. Another guy who could use a strong finish to the year.
  • Although really, given how the position players have played, you could realistically say every one of them could use a strong finish to the year.
  • The Rangers now have 23 games to go. At 51-88, they seem to have little chance of getting a top two draft pick — Arizona and Baltimore are 45-95 and 45-93, respectively — but they also have little chance of picking worse than fourth. Basically, barring something exceptional, either Pittsburgh (currently 50-90) or Texas will have the third pick and the other team will have the fourth pick. If you want to root for losses in order to pick third rather than fourth, go for it. I’m not going to complain about wins at this stage.
  • Kohei Arihara topped out at 93.4 mph with his four seamer and 92.6 mph on his sinker, with an average of 90.9 and 90.4 on the pitches, respectively. Josh Sborz reached 98.0 mph on his fastball. Dennis Santana threw a total of one pitch, which was a 95.6 mph sinker. Jharel Cotton maxed out at 94.8 mph on his four seamer. Brett Martin reached 94.0 mph on his four seamer, while Spencer Patton hit 93.3 mph on his four seamer. Joe Barlow threw one fastball, which was 94.5 mph. Demarcus Evans topped out at 91.4 mph on his four seamer.
  • Nathaniel Lowe had the highest exit velocities for the Rangers, with his double registering at 103.5 mph, while his daily worm burner was a groundout at 104.4 mph with a -7 degree launch angle. Leody Taveras’s triple was 103.1 mph, and he had a flyout at 99.6 mph. Yohel Pozo had a 101.9 mph double, and DJ Peters had a 100.6 mph groundout.
  • The Rangers have the day off on Thursday before starting a three game set in Oakland on Friday. Let’s all spend the off day soaking in the joy of a win and a winning streak.