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Thoughts on a 2-0 Rangers win

Rangers 2, Mariners 0

Seattle Mariners v Texas Rangers Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

Rangers 2, Mariners 0

  • Well, I guess we shouldn’t have questioned starting Sandy Leon instead of Mitch Garver or Jonah Heim today.
  • The last five starts Sandy Leon has made have been with Jon Gray on the mound. In those five games, Gray has allowed three runs in 34 innings. I can understand why Bruce Bochy wouldn’t want to break up that pairing.
  • The Rangers needed Gray to be great tonight, given the performance of Mariners starter Luis Castillo, who kept Texas off the board until they pushed across a run in the sixth. And Gray was great. Seven innings, two hits, one walk, five Ks. And, of course, no runs.
  • Gray was just at 82 pitches through seven so it seemed he’d be back out for the eighth, but his night was done after the seventh. After the game Gray said he wanted to go back out for the eighth, but his hand was bothering him and they wanted to play it safe. Again, understandable.
  • Gray’s ERA is now 2.51 on the year. This puts Gray, I believe, sixth in the American League in ERA, behind teammate Nathan Eovaldi. Luis Castillo was ahead of Gray heading into this game, but trails him now.
  • Gray went very slider heavy, throwing it almost half the time, with 85% of his pitches being either fastball or slider. He generated 12 swings and misses on the night, not a lot, but he was inducing weak contact, with only two balls in play against him having an exit velocity higher than 95 mph.
  • Grant Anderson got the ball with a one run lead in the eighth. Heavy responsibility for a guy who was pitching in Albuquerque against the Isotopes a week ago. Anderson met the challenge, allowing a two out single but keeping Seattle off the board in the eighth. A Ranger insurance run gave Will Smith a cushion he didn’t need in a seven inning ninth to wrap things up.
  • Shutout number six on the season for Texas. Not bad.
  • Not much to say about the offense, which wasn’t good, but didn’t really need to be. A Nathaniel Lowe sac fly brought home Marcus Semien for the first run in the sixth. A Corey Seager single brought home Jonah Heim — who had come into the game for Leon once Gray exited — for the second run.
  • That decision to put Heim in for Leon in the top of the eighth underscores that Leon was in the game to catch Gray, and that’s all.
  • Jon Gray maxed out at 97.0 mph. Grant Anderson hit 94.1 mph. Will Smith touched 93.0 mph with his fastball.
  • The hardest hit ball of the night for the Rangers was a line drive from Josh Jung at 106.7 mph that was snagged and turned into a double play. Adolis Garcia had a ground out at 106.6 mph. Corey Seager had a 105.1 mph ground out. Marcus Semien had a 102.8 mph single and a 101.9 mph line out.
  • The first place Texas Rangers win a pitchers duel. Wonders will never cease.