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Thoughts on a 2-0 Rangers loss

A’s 2, Rangers 0

Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

A’s 2, Rangers 0

  • Its like yesterday’s game, just in reverse.
  • It was a bullpen game, essentially. Garrett Richards was announced as the opener, after Spencer Howard had been announced as the starter a couple of days ago, but they each threw two innings apiece, and had about the same number of pitches.
  • Richards allowed a couple of singles to start the game, but got a fly out and a GIDP to escape the first unscathed, and allowed just a Nick Allen walk in the second.
  • Spencer Howard, newly activated from the injured list, had a really nice third, starting and ending the inning with a strikeout, with a Tony Kemp fly out in between.
  • Howard also had a pair of strikeouts in the fourth, which is good. On the bad side, he allowed a lead off single, a 104.3 mph line drive from Seth Brown that fortunately found a glove, and then a 107.2 mph, no doubt about it home run to Stephen Piscotty.
  • Howard touched 97 mph with his fastball, struck out four of the nine batters he faced, and generated seven swinging strikes in 39 pitches, which is all good, and helps illustrate why the Rangers like him. He also allowed an average exit velocity over 100 mph on the balls in play today, which illustrates the problem with Howard.
  • Albert Abreu came in for the fifth and walked three of the four batters he faced, illustrating why the Yankees gave him to Texas for Jose Trevino, despite the electric arm. Brett Martin came in in relief and, with the bases loaded, got a pair of strikeouts to get out of the inning. Brett Martin is a nice bullpen arm that we should all be happy is here.
  • Dennis Santana, back from the COVID list, threw a scoreless inning, and Kolby Allard threw a pair of scoreless innings. That would have been even more great had the Rangers offense done anything.
  • But the offense didn’t. Heading into the ninth inning the Rangers had two hits, both by Marcus Semien, and two walks, one of which was also via Semien. Nathaniel Lowe and Jonah Heim (who had the other walk) each singled with two outs in the ninth, but Willie Calhoun’s grounder found a glove and ended the game.
  • Corey Seager had a 110.1 mph line out. Charlie Culberson had a 101.6 mph fly ball in the second that Dave Raymond seemed to think was gone, but that didn’t leave the park, and instead was caught just in front of the warning track. So just two 100+ EVs for Texas today, none for hits. Oakland, fwiw, only had four, themselves.
  • Spencer Howard, as noted above, hit 97.0 mph. Albert Abreu topped out at 98.0. Dennis Santana touched 96.4 mph. Garrett Richards hit 94.6 mph. Brett Martin and Kolby Allard reached 93.1 and 92.4, respectively.
  • No sweep. But it was a .500 road trip. Could have been worse.