Rangers 7, Braves 3
- And the Rangers have won a series.
- Taylor Hearn had a decent start, striking out six and walking three in five innings of work, allowing a pair of runs.
- I think it is safe to call this the best start of the season so far by Hearn. It’s only the second time he’s gone more than four innings, the only other instance being his last time out, when he allowed four runs in five innings to the Houston Astros, and had Chris Woodward voicing concern about his velocity.
- Hearn generated 11 swings and misses, most of them coming on his four seamer. Hearn relied primarily on his fastball and slider, and if his fastball was a concern last time out, his slider was what would be red flagged in this outing. Hearn threw his slider 23 times, resulting in two called strikes, one swing and miss, one foul ball, six balls in play, and 13 balls. The six balls in play had an average exit velocity of 99.8. The combo of not getting many strikes with his slider, and it getting hammered when the Braves did swing, is a worrisome combo.
- Hearn wouldn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, with Spencer Howard having just been sent down, A.J. Alexy and Cole Winn not kicking the door down in Round Rock just yet, and other options being scant. But his start to the year has done little to solidify his rotation spot. Today’s outing was a step in the right direction. Hopefully Hearn can build on that.
- Matt Moore threw two shutout innings, continuing his mystifying early season run of success. John King gave up an infield single and then hit a batter to start his one inning of work, but a GIDP and a groundout wrapped things up. Matt Bush allowed an unearned run in the ninth, though the unearned run was a result of him throwing a potential double play ball into center field, so...
- The Rangers offense drew 6 walks — all issued in the first three innings, and all issued by Braves starter Kyle Muller, who was pulled with two outs and the bases loaded in the third. The Rangers also picked up 11 hits, but just one extra base hit, a triple from Adolis Garcia off of Jesse Chavez to bring home the three runners Muller had on the pond when Chavez entered the game. Even that was, for what it is worth, a triple because of an unsuccessful dive by Travis Demeritte.
- So not much power, and no runs after the third, but walks and singles and seven runs, and we will take that.
- Taylor Hearn topped out at 96.2 mph with his four seamer. Matt Bush hit 98.2. Matt Moore maxed out at 95.2 mph, and John King at 94.4 mph.
- Garcia’s triple was 105.9 mph off the bat, though he had a lineout later in the game that was 107.9. Kole Calhoun had a 107.2 mph lineout. Zach Reks had a 104.3 mph single.
- Winning day games before an off day in convincing fashion is good. We have more time to enjoy a nice win before the next contest.