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Thoughts on a 12-2 Rangers win

Rangers 12, Orioles 2

Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Jess Rapfogel/Getty Images

Rangers 12, Orioles 2

  • Another day, another Rangers blowout.
  • And another opposing position player pitching.
  • I felt pretty good about this one from early on. Even when Adley Rutschman jumped on a 3-0 pitch from Jon Gray and sent it well out to right field in the bottom of the first, it didn’t seem like anything to be concerned about. The Rangers were going to handle their business.
  • Josh Jung started off the second with a blast to dead center that looked like it would tie things up, but Cedric Mullins timed his jump at the wall such that he wa able to rob Jung of a home run. Leody Taveras, a few batters later, took advantage of Orioles starter Grayson Rodriguez hanging a 2-2 change up, smoking a two run homer to right to give the Rangers a lead they would not surrender.
  • Gray had things on lock after the Rutschman homer. He gave up a double to Austin Hays in the second, but otherwise didn’t allow a runner past first base. Seven innings for Gray, four hits, one run, one walk, eight Ks. Just another day at the office for a Ranger starting pitcher.
  • Gray lowered his ERA on the year to 2.81. He was 10th in the A.L. heading into play, and passed Luis Castillo to move into 9th with this performance. If the Pirates can knock George Kirby around Gray could move up to 8th tonight.
  • John King and Jonathan Hernandez got the eighth and ninth. King K’d a couple of batters but also gave up some hard hit grounders, though just one run scored. Hernandez gave up a hard ground out and then a barreled blast to center by Gunnar Henderson that looked like it would be a homer but then died on the warning track for an F8 before getting a K to end the game.
  • Oh, and in the interim the Rangers put up an 8 spot in the fourth inning. That inning featured a Robbie Grossman home run, a Corey Seager grand slam, and a triple and a single from Josh Jung, among other events. Adolis Garcia made both the first and second out of the inning, which had to suck for him.
  • In fact, the only two starters not to get a hit in the game were Adolis, who was 0 for 5, and Nathaniel Lowe. The funny thing about Lowe is that in the pregame they talked about how he had played in Baltimore a lot while with the Rays and that he said he always hit well in Baltimore. Lowe did draw two walks, at least.
  • The Rangers final two runs came in the ninth off of Ryan McKenna, who is not a pitcher. Ryan McKenna is an outfielder. And while most position players who are asked to pitch actually make an effort and try to pitch, McKenna did not give a fuck. He lobbed pitches up to the plate. Every pitch he threw was between 33.7 mph and 39.1 mph. And the umpire, who was apparently ready to go home, called five of those McKenna pitches that were up around eye level strikes. Anyway, Texas scored a couple of runs before Sandy Leon hit into a GIDP to end the inning. The batter who made the first out against McKenna was poor Adolis Garcia.
  • Leody Taveras had a single against McKenna, making him 2 for 4 for the game with a walk. He is now slashing .310/.375/.434, good for a 128 wRC+. I think it is fair to say he is exceeding expectations.
  • The Rangers run differential is now +122 for the season. Only twice in the history of the franchise have the Rangers had a run differential that good over an entire season — in 2011 and in 1996. Texas could score and allow the same number of runs for the rest of the season — which would be a very disappointing turn of events — and still have the third best run differential in team history.
  • Also, this is the 11th best run differential for any team through the first 50 games of the season since 1900. One of the 10 teams in front of them is the 2016 Chicago Cubs. Every other team is from before WWII.
  • This team is playing some good ball, folks.
  • Jon Gray maxed out at 97.4 mph. John King’s sinker topped out at 95.6 mph. Jonathan Hernandez’s sinker hit 97.6 mph.
  • Corey Seager’s grand slam was 108.9 mph off the bat. Josh Smith had a single at 106.1 mph. Leody Taveras had a home run at 104.8 mph. Marcus Semien had a 104.2 mph single. Brad Miller came off the bench and laced a 102.9 mph double. Josh Jung had a pair of balls with exit velocities of 101.8 mph — the fly out where Mullins still his homer, and a triple. Robbie Grossman’s homer was 101.3 mph.
  • Moar runs on Saturday, please.