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Thoughts on a 5-1 Rangers win

Rangers 5, Rays 1

Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Rangers 5, Rays 1

  • Six in a row.
  • Getting a little rest over the Break seems to have done the guys some good.
  • It was a weird outing for Jon Gray even before he got knocked out of the game by a rocket back up the middle. He was at just 63 pitches when he left the game and had generated 13 swings and misses, a rather impressive total. But he struck out just four of the 19 batters he faced, despite the whiffs, and gave up eight hits as well as walking a batter.
  • The Rays were making loud contact off of Gray, and he was fortunate to end up with a scoreless outing. Allowing nine baserunners out of 19 batters usually doesn’t work out that way. But Adolis Garcia threw Josh Lowe out at the plate in the second on a Manuel Margot double, and Taylor Walls was picked off at second in the third, and there was a GIDP in the fourth, and so things worked out okay.
  • Brock Burke went two strong innings, but from a relief standpoint, Alex Speas was the story. Called up today, Bruce Bochy wasted no time throwing him into the fire, Speas came into the game with one on and one out in the seventh, asked to face pinch hitter Wander Franco while protecting a 1-0 lead. After falling behind 2-0, Speas got Franco swinging on a 3-2 pitch in what turned into a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play. Speas followed that up with a clean eighth that featured a pair of Ks and a fly out.
  • The trade deadline is less than two weeks away, and the Rangers will be buyers. We know they will be looking for relief help. Part of the evaluation process, though, is getting a handle on who they have on hand. Whether Alex Speas can be counted on to get outs in the big leagues is going to influence how the Rangers approach the deadline and how many arms they may need. If he can show he can be trusted, it may be one less reliever they’ve got to go try and find at the deadline.
  • Leody Taveras has been slumping, and I half expected to see Travis Jankowski in center field Wednesday and Leody getting the day off. Good thing I was wrong. Leody homered in the third, giving Texas their first run of the game, and singled home a run in the seventh to make it 2-0 and give Speas a little breathing room when he went out for the eighth.
  • Jonab Heim capped things off with a three run homer in the eighth that brought home Nathaniel Lowe and Josh Smith. Smith entered the game for Adolis Garcia after Garcia left the game due to a HBP that banged off his elbow. It looked painful and potentially bad for Adolis but it is apparently just a bruise.
  • The 5-0 lead meant Cody Bradford got a chance to shake off some rust and pitch the ninth. He gave up a Jose Siri homer to break up the shutout but whatevs. It’s all good.
  • Jon Gray hit 96.0 mph with his fastball, averaging 95.2 mph. Brock Burke reached 96.6 mph. Alex Speas topped out at 99.8 mph. Cody Bradford touched 91.8 mph.
  • Jonah Heim had a 107.0 mph double and a 105.5 mph home run. Corey Seager had a 105.9 mph single and a 104.0 mph fly out. Josh Jung had a 105.2 mph single and a 104.6 mph fly out. Nathaniel Lowe had a 104.0 mph double. Marcus Semien had a 100.2 mph fly out. Leody Taveras’s homer was 99.8 mph.
  • A win in a day game heading into an off day. We have warm fuzzies for at least 48 hours.