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Thoughts on a 2-1 Rangers loss

ChiSox 2, Rangers 1

Chicago White Sox v Texas Rangers Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

ChiSox 2, Rangers 1

  • Hey, a one run loss for the Rangers! How weird! That never happens!
  • In a variation from the usual formula, the Rangers pitchers, both starter and relievers, did their jobs, and it was a matter of the offense being useless than resulted in the defeat.
  • Glenn Otto had his best start of the season, striking out seven and walking one in six innings of work. He allowed a sacrifice fly after a walk/single combo to start the third inning, and then allowed an Eloy Jimenez home run to lead off the fourth, and that ended up being all the runs Chicago needed.
  • But Otto generated swings and misses — 13 out of 97 pitches — and threw his slider for strikes. He went almost exclusively with the slider/fastball combo — Statcast says he threw 45 sliders and 46 four seamers/sinkers.
  • Josh Sborz was asked to go two innings in a close game and did his job, striking out three and keeping Chicago off the board. And Jose Leclerc rebounded from his bad outing last time out with an impressive 1-2-3 ninth that featured a pair of strikeouts and four swinging strikes out of fourteen pitches. I know Leclerc can be frustrating, but man, when he’s on, he’s really good.
  • You know what was not really good last night? The Rangers offense. In fairness, they were facing Dylan Cease, who has been destroying hitters for the past two months, and who lowered his ERA to 1.98 on the season — its not like they were out there going shut down by Willie Lump Lump.
  • But Cease only went six innings, and the Joe Kelly/Kendall Graveman at his less than best/Liam Hendriks combo kept the Rangers bats quiet for the final three innings as well.
  • You sometimes hear the cliche about how if you don’t get to a certain pitcher early, you’re not going to get to him, and I don’t think there’s generally anything to that, but it ended up being the case here. Cease walked Jonah Heim and Nathaniel Lowe with two outs in the first, then saw Adolis Garcia his a slow roller the other way that made it to the outfield due to the way the White Sox shifted him, giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Leody Taveras couldn’t follow that up, though, instead tapping one about three feet that resulted in a 2-3 to end the inning.
  • In the second, a Bubba Thompson single and stolen base, followed by a Marcus Semien two out walk, set up a two on, two out situation for Corey Seager, but he popped out to end the inning.
  • And then that was it for Texas until Chicago went to the bullpen. After the Semien walk, Cease retired 13 straight batters, and Texas didn’t get another baserunner until Bubba reached on an E4 in the seventh (and stole second base again).
  • The only real opportunity the Rangers had after the second inning was in the eighth, when they loaded the bases against Gravement on a Corey Seager single, a Jonah Heim walk, and, after a Nathaniel Lowe forceout that wasn’t a GIDP due to a poor throw to first base from Tim Anderson, an Adolis Garcia HBP. Leody Taveras batted with the bases loaded and Texas down just one, but grounded weakly to first to end the inning and, as it turned out, end the last opportunity Texas had to score.
  • However...Bubba Thompson made a terrific catch in left field, which was the highlight of the game for the Rangers. On a line drive to left field, Thompson broke in, turned on the jets, and made a terrific diving catch:
  • The Bubba Thompson/Leody Taveras/Adolis Garcia outfield is about as impressive a defensive outfield as you are going to see. I’m not sure how much they will hit, but they will turn a lot of balls into outs.
  • Glenn Otto topped out at 95.2 mph on his fastball. Josh Sborz hit 98.0 mph with his fastball. Jose Leclerc maxed out at 97.2 mph on his fastball.
  • Nathaniel Lowe had a pair of outs at 102.3 mph and 101.7 mph. No one else on the Rangers had an exit velocity of more than 95 mph.
  • On to Saturday’s game, where hopefully the Rangers will score more than one run.