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Thoughts on a 4-3 Rangers win

Rangers 4, Rays 3

Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Rangers 4, Rays 3

  • Just from a narrative of the 2022 season, this seems like a game the Rangers should have lost, right?
  • In eight of the nine innings of the game, the Rangers were held scoreless. They didn’t draw a single walk all game. Martin Perez wasn’t sharp. The Rays got the tying run to third base with one out in the sixth, and someone named Jesus Tinoco was brought into the game to handle things. In the ninth, the Rays put the tying and winning runs in scoring position when they loaded the bases against Jose Leclerc, who was struggling badly with his command.
  • Oh, and it was a one run game. Maybe you haven’t heard, but the Rangers have not performed well in one run games this year.
  • And yet, they pulled it out. Baseball is full of surprises.
  • Martin Perez couldn’t quite make it six innings, being lifted with one out in the sixth at 91 pitches. Perez struck out just three batters on the day, and only generated five swinging strikes, so he wasn’t exactly fooling Rays hitters. Perez allowed Rays on base every inning, and allowed a Ray to get to scoring position in every inning except the first, but until the sixth, the only Rays runs came in the second, when a walk, a couple of singles, and a couple of ground outs resulted in a pair of runs coming across.
  • A one out single-double-single combo in the sixth brought a run home and put the tying and go ahead runs on the corners, resulting in Jesus Tinoco being brought in to save the day. Not a phrase I would ever expect to hear, but Tinoco got the job done, retiring Yandy Diaz and Manuel Margot on a pair of fly outs.
  • Jonathan Hernandez and Brett Martin tag-teamed for the seventh, while Matt Moore threw a 1-2-3 8th, setting the stage for Jose Leclerc to scare us in the ninth. Leclerc’s outing caused some anxiety and resulted in some bitten fingernails, but with two outs and the bases juiced he got Harold Ramirez to hit a 2-2 slider into the ground, resulting in a force out to end the game with the Rangers on top.
  • All the Rangers runs came in the top of the third, when they turned a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 lead. And they all came after Corey Kluber retired the first two batters, needing to simply retire #9 hitter Bubba Thompson to sit down with a 1-2-3 inning. Thompson reached on an infield single, however, then went to second on a Marcus Semien single. Corey Seager doubled to bring home Thompson and Semien to tie the game, then came around to score himself on Nathaniel Lowe’s 25th home run of the season.
  • That Nathaniel Lowe fellow is now slashing .308/.362/.507 on the year. He might be good.
  • Every starter for the Rangers picked up a hit, with Marcus Semien getting two hits. The only spot in the lineup that didn’t have a hit was the DH spot, which saw Josh Smith go 0 for 2, and pinch hitters Mark Mathias and Kole Calhoun go 0 for 1 apiece.
  • Jonathan Hernandez was the hardest throwing Ranger on the day, maxing out at 98.3 mph, just ahead of Jose Leclerc, who hit 98.0 mph. Martin Perez touched 94.8 mph, averaging 91.9 mph with his sinker. Jesus Tinoco reached 95.5 mph. Matt Moore topped out at 94.4 mph, while Brett Martin hit 92.9 mph.
  • Nathaniel Lowe’s home run was 105.9 mph off the bat. Josh Jung had a 101.9 mph single. Corey Seager had a 101.8 mph double.
  • A win on the road, and in a one run game at that. Happiness.