clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Thoughts on an 11-8 Rangers win

Rangers 11, Orioles 8

Division Series - Texas Rangers v. Baltimore Orioles - Game Two Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Rangers 11, Orioles 8

  • That was exciting.
  • Too exciting, really, though it seems like we have had quite a few of these types of games this year. Offense does things, jumps out to a big lead, pitching is a bit erratic, and the game ends up being closer than it should be, but a win nonetheless.
  • Saturday’s bullpen game saw just two runs scored by the Orioles. Sunday starter Jordan Montgomery, the Rangers top healthy starter at this point, was supposed to provide added stability and depth compared to Saturday. Instead, he recorded just 12 outs — just one more than Andrew Heaney recorded on Saturday.
  • Montgomery saw his pitch count soar early on, as he faced seven hitters in the first, allowing a pair of runs on a two RBI single, the needed 22 pitches to get through the second, despite facing just four batters in the inning. Montgomery generally throws about 90 pitches a game, so it was clear in the early innings the pen would have to handle a heavy load, and we all know how we feel about the pen.
  • Two more runs scored in the fourth off of Montgomery, one of the unearned due to Corey Seager seemingly not being able to decide whether to go to third and try to get the lead runner on a one out grounder or take the easy out at first, with the result being he got neither. A home run by Gunnar Henderson to lead off the fifth, followed by an Austin Hays single, ended Montgomery’s day, and meant that the pen would have to record 15 outs if Texas was going to win, one day after having to get 16 outs.
  • The good news for Texas was that the offense had put ten runs up by that point, meaning Cody Bradford could be asked to provide length with a sizeable cushion. Bradford made it to the eighth with a minimal amount of drama (and no runs scoring) before allowing a two out single followed by a double. Bruce Bochy beckoned for Josh Sborz, who got Adley Rutschman on a first pitch ground out.
  • Up 11-5 in the ninth, Brock Burke was asked to finish things up. Because nothing can be easy, especially with the Rangers pen, he wasn’t able to. Anthony Santander hit a rocket — a 110.3 mph line drive, the hardest hit ball of the day for Baltimore — that was snagged by Leody Taveras for the first out. Burke then walked Henderson and gave up a single to Austin Hays, prompting Bochy to get Jose Leclerc into the game.
  • Burke had a bad final couple of months to the season — from July 30 to season’s end he had a 8.20 ERA and 7.06 FIP in 18.2 innings — and was barely used down the stretch. I don’t think Bochy wants to use Burke if he doesn’t have to, and this performance isn’t going to make him want to use Burke going forward.
  • Things weren’t much better for Jose Leclerc, though. He gave up a homer to Aaron Hicks to make it an 11-8 game, then a line drive to left center by Ryan O’Hearn that was flagged down for the second out, but that Statcast says would have been a homer in half of the parks in MLB. Thankfully, he struck out Cedric Mullins swinging to end the game, and send the series back to Arlington with Texas up 2-0.
  • Jose Leclerc only pitched six times on zero days rest in the regular season. He allowed 4 runs in 4.1 IP in those six outings.
  • The offense did enough that the trials and tribulations of the pitchers ended up not costing the team. After loading the bases in the first on a hit and two walks but not scoring, Texas scored five in the second, chasing Baltimore starter Grayson Rodriguez, then scored four in the third on a Mitch Garver grand slam that was preceded by three straight walks.
  • The final two runs for the Rangers scored on a Garver GIDP and a Marcus Semien RBI ground out. That’s fine, I guess, but not as fun.
  • Every Ranger batter had a hit except for Nathaniel Lowe, who drew a walk, and Corey Seager, who drew a playoff game record five walks. So much for pitchers having to pitch to Seager now that Robbie Grossman isn’t hitting behind him.
  • Texas drew 11 walks in all, matching their 11 hits in the day. They actually were out-hit by the O’s, who had 14 hits, but those free passes made a big difference.
  • Jordan Montgomery hit 95.0 mph with his fastball. Cody Bradford reached 93.5 mph on his fastball. Josh Sborz threw one pitch, which was a 97.6 mph fastball. Brock Burke hit 97.1 mph on his fastball. Jose Leclerc topped out at 97.5 mph with his fastball.
  • Adolis Garcia had a 111.6 mph single. Josh Jung had a 109.0 mph single and a 102.9 mph double. Mitch Garver’s grand slam was 107.5 mph, and he had a 100.2 mph fly out. Leody Taveras had a 103.6 mph double. Jonah Heim had a 102.5 mph single. Evan Carter had a 101.1 mph force out.
  • Off day, then a home playoff game on Tuesday. Nathan Eovaldi on the mound sign a chance to sweep.