If you can’t throw strikes to the Rangers, or you fear what they can do to you if you do, they will grind your bones and bleed you to death.
Texas drew an absurd eleven walks in today’s Game 2 win. They had another eleven hits and wouldn’t you know it, the barrage amounted to eleven runs. They accomplished all of this by making Orioles pitching throw 206 pitches, from eight pitchers, with just 59 of them coming from today’s Baltimore starter Grayson Rodriguez, as he lasted just 1 1⁄3 innings.
Believe it or not, but Texas actually trailed today 2-0 after an inning in which they left ‘em loaded in the top of the frame, but the O’s snuck a ball through the infield in their own bases loaded opportunity.
The Rangers felt relentless, however, and went right back to making everything just so impossible for whoever was on the mound with ‘Orioles’ across their chest in the next half inning. Before Rodriguez could find even a second out, the Rangers were up 5-2. By the end of the 3rd, it was 9-2 after Mitch Garver pimped a grand slam over left field Walltimore.
From there, it was about one team trying to collect the necessary outs to end the contest, and another desperate to hang on to as many outs as they could. Even at a 11-8 final score, it felt like Baltimore was priming for that big rally that got them all the way back in the game.
That never came despite some more-tense-than-expected moments in the 9th. Ultimately, the Rangers just kept grinding. All told, every Ranger in the lineup reached with all but Nathaniel Lowe and Corey Seager getting at least one hit. Oh, but about Seager, he drew an MLB postseason record five walks. They refused to let the MVP candidate beat them so Garver just took matters into his own hands hitting behind Texas’ third-of-a-billion shortstop.
This was a nightmare for Baltimore (and, let’s face it, the FS1 announcers) but it can be real fun when you get to be the boogeyman.
Player of the Game: First off, hats off to Cody Bradford. A homegrown, hometown Rangers fan lifer who made good today as he settled the game down completely after today’s starter Montgomery labored through four innings. Coming up big in long relief, Bradford gave Texas 3 2⁄3 massive innings in a game that began to look scary despite the comfy lead as the Orioles kept scoring runs.
However, the Rangers finally absconded with the key to the dungeon that Robbie Grossman had placed Mitch Garver in to allow Garver to take over the three-hole spot in the lineup and spray his Garv sauce all over the Baltimore denizens.
Garver ended up with five RBI, which ultimately proved to be the difference in the final score. Garver’s boat racing grand slam in the top of the 3rd was just the second all-time in postseason action for the Rangers. The first one was pretty special, too.
Up Next: The Rangers come home to Arlington to play their first ever home playoff game at The Shed with an opportunity to advance to the ALCS with a victory. That sure is something.
RHP Nathan Eovaldi is expected to get the ball for Texas with the starter yet to be named for Baltimore, though RHP Kyle Gibson or RHP Dean Kremer are the likely options.
The Rangers get to enjoy a day off before the 7:03 CT Game 3 first pitch on Tuesday night.