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Thoughts on a 6-2 Rangers win

Rangers 6, Astros 2

Houston Astros v Texas Rangers Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Rangers 6, Astros 2

  • Hey, that was fun!
  • An acceptable outing from Dane Dunning, who came one out away from registering a Quality Start. 5.2 IP, 5 hits, 1 walk, 5 Ks, 2 runs allowed, one on a Yordan Alvarez solo home run.
  • The Alvarez home run started the second inning, and was followed by a Yuli Gurriel double and a Kyle Tucker single, with Tucker then stealing second to put runners on second and third with no one out. It seemed like a bad inning was in the offing. Dunning escaped, though, getting Aledmys Diaz to line out, then fanning Jason Castro and Jeremy Pena to end the inning.
  • Dunning wasn’t really in trouble after that, and was lifted with two outs in the sixth after allowing a softly hit single to Gurriel. John King was brought in to face Kyle Tucker, and got him to hit a pop up down the third base line on 3-2 that should have ended the inning. But Nick Solak had to run a long way to make a play, and when he slid to make the catch the ball bounced off his glove, resulting in a run scoring single (Tucker threw his bat down and trotted to first, otherwise he would have been at second).
  • King finished out the inning with no more damage, but the Rangers were behind 2-1 at the time, and given the offensive production from the last few days, I wasn’t feeling real optimistic about a comeback.
  • Behind King, Matt Moore, Matt Bush and Joe Barlow all did their jobs, logging an inning of shutout ball apiece, though Bush allowed a pair of line drive singles with two outs before getting out of the inning.
  • Anyway, the bats. The frustrating thing was that for much of the game, the Rangers had opportunities, but didn’t cash in. They scored a run in the second when Solak reach on an E6, went to third on a Nathaniel Lowe double, and scored on a Charlie Culberson ground out. That tied the game up after the Alvarez home run in the top of the inning.
  • But after that, it was a bunch of teasing from the Rangers offense. Corey Seager led off the fourth with a walk, Solak was hit by a 2-2 pitch with one out, but then Lowe hit into a 4-6-3 GIDP. Andy Ibanez singled in the fifth, followed by an Eli White walk, but Marcus Semien and Adolis Garcia struck out to strand them. Corey Seager and Mitch Garver each singled to lead off the sixth, but a pair of Ks and a 6-4 groundout snuffed that rally.
  • And so it was, heading into the seventh, in a game that felt like it was going to be one filled with regret and lost opportunities, when Willie Calhoun turned things around. With the lefty Framber Valdez being lifted after the sixth, and Phil Maton coming in in his stead, Calhoun was sent up to pinch hit to start the seventh, and immediately doubled. Kole Calhoun pinch hit for Eli White and flew out, but with Willie advancing to third, while allowed him to score on Marcus Semien’s single, tying up the game. An Adolis Garcia single, a wild pitch, and a Corey Seager single made it a 3-2 game.
  • Adolis Garcia provided insurance runs in the eighth, driving in Lowe, Willie Calhoun and Semien with a bases loaded, two out double. There was much rejoicing.
  • It is especially nice to see Willie Calhoun getting some good results, after we have talked about his quality at bats resulting in well struck outs early in the season. Calhoun’s eighth inning single was of the bloop variety, but his double was legit, a 98.2 mph line drive.
  • Dane Dunning’s velocity was down — just 88.1 mph on his sinker on average, topping out at 89.5 mph. John King topped out at 93.4 mph on his sinker. Matt Moore touched 94.5 mph with his fastball. Matt Bush hit 97.9 mph with his fastball, while Joe Barlow reached 95.6 mph.
  • Adolis Garcia’s 8th inning double was the hardest hit ball of the game for the Rangers, at 103.1 mph, and his third inning ground out was the second hardest hit ball of the game for the Rangers, at 102.8 mph. Andy Ibanez had a 102.6 mph single. Corey Seager had two hits, but his hardest hit balls of the day — 102.2 mph and 101.8 mph — were fly outs.
  • And the Rangers are up 1-0 in the Silver Boot Series. Huzzah!