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Thoughts on a 9-1 Rangers loss

D-Backs 9, Rangers 1

World Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Texas Rangers - Game Two Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

D-Backs 9, Rangers 1

  • That was rough.
  • And this is one of those instances where there’s not really that much to say about it. Merrill Kelly was really good for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and other than the Mitch Garver solo home run, he pretty much shut the Rangers down.
  • There were complaints throughout the night about the strike zone, with Kelly getting several calls an inch or two off the plate glove side. Kelly was consistently hitting his spots, though, which is going to help in getting those calls. The extra inch or not, Kelly was on, and the Rangers couldn’t do much with him.
  • Jordan Montgomery was not at his sharpest Sunday night — he struck out no one and generated just two swings and misses, with his velocity down a mile and a half on most his pitches compared to his average for the year. Whether that’s due to his being used in Game 7 of the ALCS on two days rest, or just it being an off night, we don’t know.
  • That said, Montgomery did his job for six innings, allowing just two runs to the D-Backs in that span. Unfortunately, he was sent out to start the seventh — a move that surprised many, including the announcers. An Alek Thomas double to lead the inning off was followed by an Evan Longoria single, making it 3-1 and ending Montgomery’s night. Andrew Heaney came in, gave up a sac bunt, fanned a batter, then gave up a single, making it 4-1.
  • Heaney was replaced by Dane Dunning, who walked Gabriel Moreno before getting Christian Walker to ground out to end the inning and, it turned out, Dunning’s night, as he was replaced by Chris Stratton to start their eighth.
  • Heaney threw just six pitches and Dunning just nine, so presumably they remain options for either long relief behind Max Scherzer in Game 3 or as part of what will likely be a bullpen game in Game 4. It is surprising, though, to see them get hot, come into the game, then pitch so little.
  • Chris Stratton only faced three batters, going single, sac bunt, K before being lifted for Martin Perez. Things went sideways with Perez, who walked the first two batters he faced. On a 2-2 pitch to Geraldo Perdomo, the second batter he walked, Perez reacted like he thought it should have been a strike. Whether that perceived missed called threw him off or not, he missed on ball four to Perdomo, then gave up a pair of singles. Like that, the 2-1 game at the start of the seventh turned into a 7-1 game. Perez allowed two more runs in the ninth, using 39 pitches in all.
  • Bruce Bochy’s pitching moves came in for criticism, but at the end of the day, the offense did almost nothing on the day. Four hits and a walk won’t get you far.
  • Jordan Montgomery topped out at 94.1 mph with his sinker, averaging 91.9 mph. Andrew Heaney hit 94.1 mph with his fastball. Dane Dunning threw two sinkers, once at 93.4 mph and one at 93.5 mph. Chris Stratton hit 93.9 mph with his fastball. Martin Perez maxed out at 93.8 mph with his sinker.
  • Nathaniel Lowe had a 107.9 mph ground out and a 103.6 mph fly out. Mitch Garver had a 104.4 mph lineout to go with his home run, which was 102.8 mph. Leody Taveras had a 103.8 groundout. Jonah Heim had a 103.4 mph fly out. Corey Seager had a 102.4 mph lineout. Josh Jung had a 102.2 mph groundout.
  • The Rangers are undefeated on the road this postseason. Let’s see if we can continue that trend Monday night.