Rangers 10, Angels 1
- Everything feels better now.
- I was underwhelmed by the Nathan Eovaldi signing this winter. It wasn’t that I was opposed to it, but…Eovaldi was just not someone I was enthused about. Results rarely seemed to match his stuff, some injury history, never a full season of being an above average starter other than 2021, which wouldn’t be such a big deal if he weren’t 33 and in his 12th major league season.
- Eovaldi is making me shut my mouth. After a complete game shutout the last time out, the day after Jacob deGrom left with the injury that put him on the injured list, Eovaldi followed up with eight shutout innings against the Angels the day after the team suffered a gut punch extra innings walk off loss.
- It was, per the Rangers PR, the first time a pitcher had back to back starts of 8+ scoreless innings since Jack Flaherty for the Cardinals in September, 2019. The last time it happened in the A.L. was Dallas Keuchel in June, 2015.
- It looked like Eovaldi was going to pitch the ninth until the Rangers, up 3-0, added an insurance run in the top of the ninth. They then added six more insurance runs after that, making the margin big enough for Yerry Rodriguez to get to finish the game out.
- This was Yerry’s third major league appearance this year. In each outing, he has pitched the ninth. Previously it was once while up 14 and once while down 5, so a 10 run margin is the median and pretty close to the mean for him this year.
- The eerie thing is that it felt for a while a lot like Friday night’s game. The Rangers get a multi-run lead that they take into the late innings while their starter keeps Anaheim off the board. The difference, of course, is that Eovaldi was going to get to work deeper into the game than Dane Dunning was. And of course, unlike Friday,the Rangers batted around in the ninth to give them a much more comfortable margin.
- The first three runs all scored in the fourth, courtesy of RBI singles by Jonah Heim, Travis Jankowski and Marcus Semien. The seven in the ninth came in a variety of ways, too numerous and varied to get into, other than to say there were no homers.
- In fact, the Rangers didn’t even have an extra base hit until the ninth. Small ball, baby!
- It is worth noting the Rangers would have only scored eight runs had Bruce Bochy not challenged an out call at first on Ezequiel Duran with two outs in the ninth and Texas up 8-0. Duran immediately signaled to the dugout that he was safe, and replay showed he clearly was safe, and thus the call was overturned.
- A pessimist would say Bochy did that because he didn’t trust the bullpen to protect an 8 run lead. An optimist would say he doesn’t want Ezequiel Duran to finish one hit short of 3000.
- Nathan Eovaldi topped out at 96.7 mph. Yerry hit 98.2 mph with his sinker.
- Adolis Garcia had a 110.2 mph single, the hardest hit ball of the night. Nathaniel Lowe had a 109.4 mph single and a 109.2 mph groundout. Ezequiel Duran had a 106.6 mph groundout. Leody Taveras had a 105.1 mph groundout. Travis Jankowski had a 100.9 mph single.
- The Rangers are once again in sole possession of first place in the A.L. West. That is a good and fun thing.