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Thoughts on a 3-2 Rangers loss

Giants 3, Rangers 2

Texas Rangers v San Francisco Giants Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Giants 3, Rangers 2

  • That was frustrating.
  • The frustration should not, though, take away from the remarkable job Dane Dunning did against the Giants, The ground ball artist, the guy with the low K-rate, went on a strikeout spree against San Fran. In seven innings of work Dunning struck out 12 Giants batters — a career high.
  • Perhaps more remarkably, Dunning generated 23 swings and misses on 106 pitches. That’s extraordinary. That ties Jacob deGrom for the second most swings and misses in a game by a Ranger pitcher this season, with a 24 whiff Jon Gray outing being the only one higher.
  • Not only that, though…in the Statcast Era, the only other Ranger pitcher besides Gray, deGrom and Dunning to generate 23+ whiffs is Yu Darvish. Impressive company Dunning joined.
  • Dunning’s slider was incredible, being responsible for over half of the swings and misses he generated. The Giants swung at 19 sliders, missed on 12 of them, fouled off five of them, and put two balls in play, with EVs of 70 and 74 mph. It’s hard to do much better with a pitch than that.
  • Dunning got five whiffs with his fastball, five with his changeup, and one with his cutter. He didn’t get any on his curveball, but then, he only threw it five times and the Giants never swung at it.
  • Oh, and no walks from Dunning. Just incredible work.
  • A Michael Conforto solo home run was the one blemish on Dunning’s day, and it looked like it would result in him getting an “L.” Jose Leclerc and Aroldis Chapman each pitched an inning, each gave up a double, and each worked around it to put up a 0.
  • Then in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs, J.P. Martinez ripped a double to right center field. Ezequiel Duran followed that up with a slow roller in the hole on the left side. Brandon Crawford backhanded it and should have eaten it, having no play at first on Duran. He threw to first anyway, and with Martinez going on contact, the result was Martinez easily scoring from second to tie the game.
  • Duran was thrown out trying to second to end the inning. After Chapman’s scoreless ninth, the Rangers got a run home courtesy of a Josh Smith bloop single that sent Zombie Duran to third, with a one out ball bringing Duran home to make it 2-1.
  • Marcus Semien walked, setting up a great situation for Corey Seager. Alas, Seager ripped a grounder that was hard hit but poorly placed, resulting in an inning ending GIDP.
  • Will Smith was asked to close things out. A pop out and a strike out brought switch hitting Patrick Bailey to the plate. With the lefty swinging Conforto up next, it seemed like a potential opportunity to put Bailey on and use the platoon advantage with Conforto in your favor. Instead, the Rangers pitched to Bailey, and Smith missed his spot with a fastball that Bailey parked in the left field bleachers for a walk off home run.
  • So the Rangers didn’t sweep. They won a close, low scoring game, lost a close, low scoring game, and won a blowout. Winning two of three is a successful series, and yet, there’s a tinge of disappointment because of the feeling the Rangers had the opportunity to do even better and let it get away.
  • Which is a feeling it seems like has been frequent this year. The team is doing great, but has also left us asking “what if” with some lost opportunities.
  • Dane Dunning topped out at 93.3 mph with his sinker, averaging 90.8 mph. Jose Leclerc hit 96.8 mph with his fastball. Aroldis Chapman’s sinker reached 102.8 mph. Will Smith’s fastest pitch of the day was the final pitch of the game, a 92.8 mph fastball.
  • Adolis Garcia had a 107.3 mph ground out. Corey Seager had a 103.9 mph GIDP and a 100.7 mph line out. J.P. Martinez’s double had a 100.9 mph exit velocity. Leody Taveras had a 100.9 mph ground out.
  • Despite the loss, Texas went 4-2 on the road trip and won both series. They return to Arlington with a 2.5 game lead on Houston. I will take that.