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Thoughts on an 11-4 Rangers win

Rangers 11, A’s 4

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

Rangers 11, A’s 4

  • The Rangers scored a whole lot of runs today. I like it when that happens.
  • The Rangers have now won four games in a row, and have ensured that they will end their current road trip — which ends, of course, with tomorrow’s series finale against the A’s — having gone no worse than .500 on the trip.
  • The Rangers also have the opportunity to get to .500 on the season if they can beat the A’s tomorrow.
  • It probably seems like years since the Rangers were at .500 this late in the season, but it hasn’t been. The 2019 season was actually a decent season for the Rangers — they were at 74-74 with fourteen games to play before doing a reverse-Bogar over the final couple of weeks.
  • Tomorrow’s game will have Dane Dunning going up against James Kaprielian. 24% of the home runs Kaprielian has given up in his major league career have been by Joey Gallo and Adolis Garcia. They are also the only players with more than one home run off of Kaprielian in his major league career.
  • Anyway, enough about tomorrow’s game. Let’s talk about today’s game.
  • The Rangers scored four runs in the third inning and six runs in the fifth inning. When the A’s came up in the bottom of the fifth, they were down 10-1. So it was a nice relaxing game. Not a lot of stress in this one.
  • Taylor Hearn picked up a Quality Start, which is notable not only because it is a QS, but because it means Hearn went six innings. It was the first time this season Hearn had gone six innings in a start — his previous season high was just five innings, and he was averaging only about 4.1 IP per game in his first eight starts.
  • Hearn allowed single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth, and was in danger of not getting out of the sixth after he allowed a single to lead off the inning followed by a one out double and a one out single. Hearn managed to get out the final two outs of the inning, though, with no more damage done, ending his day at 95 pitches. He got five Ks and just one walk.
  • I am, as I’ve noted before, a skeptic about Hearn having long-term success in the rotation. This is a mark in the “good” column today, though, and showing he can get through six innings will help going forward, I suspect.
  • With the Rangers in blowout mode and a nine man pen, it was “get guys work” time once Hearn departed. Brett Martin, who hadn’t pitched since last Sunday against the Astros, pitched the seventh. Albert Abreu, who was activated from the injured list on Tuesday, hadn’t pitched since returning to the active roster — he also last pitched last Sunday, though since he was in the minors on a rehab assignment, it was against the Astros’ AAA affiliate, rather than the Astros. Garrett Richards pitched the ninth.
  • The Garrett Richards situation is interesting right now. The Rangers signed him to be a multi-inning reliever, and once he was activated from the injured list (he started the year there due to a blister), Chris Woodward went to him regularly, using him twice as an opened and five times out of the pen in a sixteen day stretch.
  • He only pitched three times over the next two weeks, however, and this was only Richards’ second appearance since May 13, when he threw two innings in a home blowout loss against Boston. Richards threw 1.2 scoreless innings on May 24, finishing a game against the Angels where the Rangers were down five when he entered, and then threw the final inning today.
  • The Rangers’ starters have been much better in May, which means there’s fewer innings for the bullpen. Still, its surprising to see how little Richards has been used of late. There’s a good chance one of the three relievers who pitched today will end up getting bumped when Jose Leclerc is ready to return in a couple of weeks. Martin has options remaining, so he would see to be the most likely candidate to be sent down, particularly with the other lefty options right now. have to wonder.
  • Anyway, the real story was the bats, which did some stuff today. They had opportunities in the first, when Corey Seager doubled, and in the second, when Sam Huff led off the inning with a single and Charlie Culberson added a two out single, but the dam finally broke in the third. Marcus Semien walked to lead off the inning, Seager had a no-doubter to center field, and then Adolis Garcia sent the next pitch out opposite field to make it a sudden 3-0 lead. Kole Calhoun followed up with a single, then after a Huff fly out, Nathaniel Lowe tripled to make it 4-0, chasing Zach Logue and bringing in former Ranger minor leaguer Jacob Lemoine.
  • Lemoine retired the next two batters in the third then allowed only a Seager single in the fourth. He did his job that far. But he was tasked with long man duties today, and the long part is where he got into trouble. A Calhoun leadoff double in the fifth and a one out IBB to Nathaniel Lowe set up a seeing eye single from Andy Ibanez, making it 5-1. Charlie Culberson singled to load the bases. Eli White flew out to right, and with the rocket-armed Ramon Laureano out there, Lowe was held at third. That turned out to be the right choice, as Marcus Semien picked a bases loaded, two out situation to pick up his first home run as a Ranger, turning it into a 9-1 laugher.
  • Lemoine was pulled then, and I feel badly for him — the Rangers’ fourth rounder in their problematic 2015 draft, Lemoine was a minor league free agent after the 2021 season, ultimately signing with Oakland. He won a bullpen spot out of spring training, and I’d like to see him stick around for the A’s.
  • Anyway, Calhoun singled home Corey Seager for the final run of the fifth, Seager having reached via a HBP and moved to second on an Adolis Garcia single. Lowe scored the final Ranger run of the game in the sixth, when Marcus Semien drew a bases loaded walk. We were hoping for another grand slam from Semien, or at least one from Corey Seager after the Semien walk, but Seager hit into a GIDP, dashing hopes.
  • Still, it was a good game, and it made us all happy. That’s what’s important.
  • Taylor Hearn topped out at 96.0 mph with his fastball. Brett Martin touched 94.0 mph with his fastball. Albert Abreu’s sinker reached 98.8 mph. Garrett Richards maxed out at 95.8 mph.
  • Kole Calhoun has been hitting the ball well, and continued to do so today, as evidenced by his having four balls in play with a 100+ mph exit velocity — 104.8 for his double, 101.2 and 101.0 for a pair of singles, and a groundout at 100.1 mph. Corey Seager’s home run was 107.8 mph, while Adolis Garcia’s home run was 104.7 mph and Marcus Semien’s home run was 99.5 mph. Sam Huff had a 104.7 mph double. Eli White had a 103.9 mph lineout. Nathaniel Lowe had a 103.3 mph single. Andy Ibanez had a flyout recorded at 102.0 mph.
  • Let’s sweep tomorrow, guys.