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Thoughts on a 5-3 Rangers loss

Reds 5, Rangers 3

Texas Rangers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Reds 5, Rangers 3

  • That was bad.
  • After a couple of games of solid starting pitching and good offense going to waste due to bullpen failures, the series finale saw the Rangers being kind of “blah” all around.
  • Just five hits for the offense, though they still managed to push across three runs. A Quality Start for Jon Gray, though a bare minimum QS, as Gray allowed three runs in six innings. He also only struck out two, which isn’t ideal.
  • A pair of Rangers had to leave the game with injuries, as well, with Josh Jung departing after being hit in the hand with a pitch and Travis Jankowski coming out due to a hip issue. Jonathan Ornelas did not play for Round Rock Wednesday night, which could be a regular day off, or could be a sign as to who would get the nod if the Rangers had to make a move to put one of those guys on the i.l. Ornelas can play both infield and outfield and there aren’t any other healthy players who would appear to be better options right now if a move had to be made.
  • And the bullpen was good until it wasn’t. Josh Sborz continued to make a case for holding onto his roster spot, striking out four in two shutout innings. Then Jonathan Hernandez, ground ball pitcher extraordinaire, gave up a two run homer in the ninth to allow the Reds to walk it off.
  • At least it wasn’t a one run loss.
  • The Rangers just completed a nine game stretch against three terrible teams. They had a 5-4 record in that stretch. That’s fine, I guess, particularly considering six of those nine games are on the road. But fine probably isn’t going to cut it if the Rangers intend to be serious about fighting the Houston Astros for the American League West title this year.
  • We have also gone, over the course of the past few days, from celebrating how surprisingly good the bullpen has been today to lamenting what a problem it is. The quality of the bullpen is the same today as it was at the beginning of the week, of course. There are good arms out there, but you’re also relying a lot on guys without much of a track record. The two veterans are Ian Kennedy and Will Smith, one of whom was signed to a minor league deal coming off a bad season and one of whom signed for a cheap one year deal.
  • Dane Dunning and Cole Ragans are working out of the pen for the first time as professionals. Brock Burke is in his second season. Jonathan Hernandez and Jose Leclerc are guys with really good stuff and questions about their command, and each is pitching in a full season for the first time since 2019. Josh Sborz is Josh Sborz.
  • Its frustrating. To put it mildly.
  • Jon Gray hit 95.8 mph with his fastball, averaging 94.6 mph. Josh Sborz topped out at 98.5 mph. Jonathan Hernandez reached 97.9 mph with his sinker.
  • Jonah Heim had a 106.2 mph double. Nathaniel Lowe had a 106.1 mph groundout. No other Ranger ball in play was more than 96.0 mph.
  • That was a miserable series. But the Rangers are still in sole possession of first place, a half game ahead of Houston. Once again, let’s enjoy it while it lasts.