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Thoughts on a 3-2 Rangers win

Rangers 3, Nationals 2

Washington Nationals v Texas Rangers Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Rangers 3, Nationals 2

  • The Rangers finally win a bullpen game. It’s about time.
  • Brett Martin instead of Matt Bush as the opener was kind of weird. Matt Bush had been announced last night as the starter today, but then he was scratched because he pitched yesterday. Which was known when he was announced as the starter, although I guess they wanted to see how he felt today.
  • Matt Bush has pitched on back-to-back days four times this year. In three of those instances, he only faced one batter in the second appearance. The other time, Bush faced just one batter in the first outing.
  • Also, Martin was an unexpected choice because Chris Woodward recently said Martin and Dennis Santana (I believe it was Santana) get warm the quickest of any of the relievers, and that’s why he’s gone to them so often mid-inning. If you’re starting, you have as much time as you want to warm up.
  • I would have expected Garrett Richards to start if Bush couldn’t go. Richards has started twice this year already in similar situations, and he hasn’t pitched since June 17. Richards has faced just ten batters in the past two weeks.
  • But instead, it was Martin, followed by Taylor Hearn. Hearn didn’t allow a hit or a run in four innings, and was rewarded with a trip to Round Rock after the game, opening up an active roster spot for Glenn Otto, who is being activated to start tomorrow’s game.
  • It seems like a raw deal for Hearn at first glance, but he once again had command issues today and didn’t miss many bats — he had just four swings and misses, and one K. Hearn also wouldn’t be available for the next few days after going 49 pitches today, and so he was the odd man out. The Rangers don’t have to use their fifth starter until July 5, so they can have a bigger bullpen until then while deciding what to do with that fifth spot.
  • Brock Burke is mortal, I regret to inform you. After giving up a two run home run to Nelson Cruz, Burke’s ERA ballooned to 1.30 on the year.
  • The offense was largely absent today. Nathaniel Lowe had a blast in the second that went for a two run home run, and Adolis Garcia, of course, walked it off with a solo shot, but otherwise, it was a bunch of nothing from the bats.
  • This is one of those games it kind of feels like the Rangers stole. They caught a break when what looked like a Nelson Cruz double in the eighth, which would have put runners on second and third with no one out, was instead called foul, a ruling that appeared to be a pretty big break for Texas. Cruz hit into a GIDP on the next pitch. Adolis Garcia came up big defensively behind Joe Barlow in the ninth.
  • Brett Martin hit 95.1 mph on his sinker. Taylor Hearn topped out at 95.8 mph with his fastball. Brock Burke touched 96.6 mph with his fastball. Matt Moore hit 96.8 mph with his fastball. Joe Barlow’s fastball topped out at 97.7 mph.
  • Nathaniel Lowe’s home run was 108.6 mph off the bat, with a 24 degree launch angle, while Adolis Garcia’s home run was 108.3 mph off the bat with a 24 degree launch angle. Weird, huh? Marcus Semien had a 104.6 mph groundout. Kole Calhoun had a 100.9 mph groundout.
  • Onward and upward.