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Thoughts on a 7-2 Rangers win

Rangers 7, Angels 2

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Rangers 7, Angels 2

  • Hey, the Rangers won!
  • And they scored a good number of runs in the process!
  • Let’s give it up for Glenn Otto, who did a solid job for the Rangers. Otto’s slider is his money pitch, but he wasn’t locating it on Wednesday, so he adjusted, relying more on his changeup and throwing more fastballs. The end result was five innings, seven Ks, two walks, and just one run — a first inning run that came after Shohei Ohtani walked to lead off the game, stole second, and came around to score on an Anthony Rendon two out single.
  • I will note that Ohtani is very fast and there were two outs, so he was going on contact on the Rendon single. That said, I thought Eli White had a chance to get Ohtani had he made a good throw home. He did not.
  • Last time out, Otto had a Quality Start, but I noted at the time that he wasn’t that sharp, striking out just two batters in six innings, walking three, and allowing a lot of loud contact to the Astros. That wasn’t the case this time — Otto pitched as well as his line would suggest.
  • A scoreless inning from Dennis Santana and a scoreless two innings from Brock Burke set the stage for Joe Barlow to make a “get some work in” appearance in the ninth, when he allowed a run on two hits while closing things out without much drama.
  • I remember in April we were bemoaning the state of the bullpen and saying that, well, at least we can get rid of some of these guys once Jose Leclerc and Jonathan Hernandez return. Now, with Leclerc starting a rehab assignment and Hernandez not far behind him, the question is more, damn, who are we going to have to drop to make for these guys? The Ranger pen has quietly become something of a strength of late, with the median ERA of the nine active relievers being John King’s 2.50.
  • Offensively, Marcus Semien continues to show signs he’s coming around, singling to lead off the game, and scoring the first run via a steal, an advance on a ground out, and a sac fly. Semien also had a triple off the wall that was thisclose to being a home run. He’s got a big, big hole to dig out of, but he’s shoveling.
  • Kole Calhoun, as we all expected, continues to carry the Rangers offense. Calhoun and Mitch Garver gave the Rangers a three run fourth inning with home runs — Garver’s a solo, Calhoun a two run shot that also brought home Jonah Heim, who had walked. Calhoun also sparked rallies in the seventh, when he singled to lead off the inning and came around to score on a Marcus Semien sac fly, and in the eighth, when he had a two out double and ultimately came around to score on a Brad Miller single.
  • I didn’t get the decision to sign Calhoun, and after his miserable start there were calls to cut him loose and let anyone else play right field. He’s now up to .254/.303/.475.
  • Here’s where the combination of 1) moving out of a very hitter-friendly park, and 2) the Year of the Mushball messes me up. I look at a .254/.303/.475 slash line and my brain is accustomed to thinking, that’s not particularly good. Its mediocre. But in 2022, with the Rangers’ current park, that’s a 126 OPS+ and a 127 wRC+.
  • Mitch Garver, who was off to a slow start then was on the injured list, has quickly gotten his numbers back to respectability. Garver now has a .220/.298/.430 slash line, good for a 112 OPS+. That would be even better if he were catching rather than being limited to DH duties, but hey, beggars, choosers.
  • Eli White had a hit, which is good, because he hasn’t been hitting. Since his OPS peaked at 929 in early May, White has slashed .140/.229/.140 in 48 plate appearances, dropping his overall slash line for the season to .197/.293/.273. That’s not good. Though he has a 69 OPS-, which is nice. And the defense and baserunning he offers still has him as a pretty good player this year overall, looking at WAR.
  • Sam Huff, in his first ever major league appearance at first base, also picked up a hit. He’s now at .407/.407/.407 on the season, and dating back to 2020 has hits in 13 of his last 14 major league games, with the one time he didn’t get a hit being when he pinch hit against the Astros this past weekend.
  • Glenn Otto topped out at 96.0 mph with his fastball. Dennis Santana hit 96.9 mph with his sinker. Brock Burke touched 97.0 mph with his fastball. Joe Barlow hit 95.3 mph with his fastball.
  • The bats were banging for the Rangers. Corey Seager and Kole Calhoun tied for the hardest hit ball of the night, at 106.8 mph exit velocity — Seager’s on a single, Calhoun’s on a double. Eli White and Brad Miller each had 105.1 mph singles. Calhoun also had a 105.0 mph single — his home run, believe it or not, was just 96.1 mph off the bat, and had a .140 xBA. Sometimes its all about where you hit them. Mitch Garver’s home runs was 102.7 mph. Adolis Garcia had a flyout that was a 102.6 mph barrel, as well as a 101.7 mph ground out. Sam Huff had a 101.8 mph lineout. Marcus Semien’s triple was 99.1 mph, and his sac fly was 98.6 mph.
  • The Rangers thus split this short series in Anaheim, and now start a four game set in Oakland. A split there as well would be nice, don’t you think?