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Thoughts on an 8-5 Rangers loss

Astros 8, Rangers 5

Championship Series - Houston Astros v Texas Rangers - Game Three Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Astros 8, Rangers 5

  • Well, I guess it was to be expected that the Rangers would lose at some point.
  • This was a frustrating game. Max Scherzer, in his return to the mound for the first time in over a month, was knocked around. His velocity was there and his command didn’t seem to be that bad, but after a scoreless first inning he was, as he put it postgame, punished on some pitches by the Astros.
  • The lesser lights of the bullpen got action and the Astros continued teeing off, though a number of balls found gloves. Jon Gray pitched again after ending the year and starting the playoffs on the injured list. His velocity was up out of the pen, though the results weren’t necessarily there. Still, maybe he can be a much-needed righty option in the pen.
  • We had a Chris Stratton sighting, his first appearance since September 26. He gave up a couple of runs, courtesy of Will Smith, who came in for him in relief and allowed the two runners he inherited from Stratton to score on a Yordan Alvarez single.
  • The bats managed five runs, but it wasn’t that impressive a day from them. Texas managed just six hits and two walks. Josh Jung’s two two run home runs were just about the only thing of note offensively.
  • Defensively, the highlight was Leody Taveras going over the fence in dead center to rob Yordan Alvarez of a home run. It was an outstanding play, and on a ball that Statcast gave an xBA of 1.000 on. Whatever else happened in the game, the Leody catch was worth the price of admission.
  • But overall, it was a clunker. The Rangers were due for one of these. They just need to keep it from becoming a streak.
  • Max Scherzer topped out at 96.1 mph on his fastball, averaging 94.1 mph. Cody Bradford hit 91.2 mph on his fastball. Chris Stratton and Will Smith each reached 93.6 mph on their fastballs. Jon Gray hit 97.8 mph on his fastball. Martin Perez’s sinker maxed out at 93.6 mph
  • Josh Jung’s home runs were 107.0 mph and 102.3 mph off the bat. Evan Carter had a 109.2 mph double. Nathaniel Lowe had a 105.1 mph single. Mitch Garver had a 103.6 mph ground out. Corey Seager had a 102.2 mph fly out.
  • Let’s put this behind us and look to game four.