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Thoughts on a 9-8 Rangers win

Rangers 9, Marlins 8

Miami Marlins v Texas Rangers Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

Rangers 9, Marlins 8

  • That was fun, if unnecessarily tense at the end.
  • Jon Gray didn’t quite put to rest concerns that he’s not quite right, what with five runs allowed in 5.1 innings. Both walks Gray issued in the game came with two outs in the first and ended up stranded, and one hoped after that that he would settle down and shut down the Marlins.
  • Twas not to be. Three runs scored in the third, with Gray giving up a lot of loud contact and only getting out of the inning when Jazz Chisholm was thrown out stealing second (and injuring himself in the process). Two more scored in the fourth, though the first runner reached on an E4 and so those two runs ended up being unearned.
  • Gray retired the final five batters he faced in the game, striking out Jon Berti start the fifth for the final of those five outs before being lifted for Brock Burke. Gray ended up with 6 Ks and generated 14 swings and misses on just 77 pitches. 10 of them came on the slider, which he threw 39 times, and was easily his most effective pitch.
  • This was Gray’s first appearance since July 24, when he gave up four runs in the first inning against the Astros. You may remember that as the game the Rangers lost 10-9, the game where Aroldis Chapman was asked to protect a 9-6 lead in the seventh and walked two batters before giving up a Chas McCormick bomb.
  • The bullpen wasn’t great today, either. Brock Burke retired the first batter he faced in relief of Gray then gave up a homer. He was pulled after retiring the first batter of the seventh in favor of Grant Anderson, who did not have his command. He walked the first two batters he faced before getting a pop out and a K to end the inning, needing 21 pitches in all.
  • Aroldis Chapman allowed a pair of hard hit singles to start the eighth. It was causing more worry. K, K. ground out and it worked out.
  • Will Smith took over for the ninth with the Rangers having just scored an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth to make it a three run lead. That ended up being useful when Smith walked Jorge Soler to start the ninth then gave up a one out homer to Jake Burger. That cut the lead to one. We can at least say that improved the Rangers record in one run games, though. Texas is now 8-14 in one run games this season.
  • So Texas was down 5-0 at one point with the Marlins pitching a bullpen game, so you could say the Rangers would have a chance to get back against a cavalcade of relievers or you could say the Rangers were sunk because bullpen games befuddle the bats, depending on whether you are an optimist or a pessimist.
  • It turned out to be a half glass full game.
  • Just like we all expected, Robbie Grossman was the catalyst. After an Adolis Garcia walk and a Josh Jung single to start the fourth, Robbie Grossman cranked a three run bomb to get Texas on the board and chase starter George Soriano from the game.
  • After someone for the Marlins named Okra or something like that finished the fourth, Miami turned to Ryan Weathers for the fifth. It was Weathers’ first appearance for the Marlins, having acquired him from the Padres on August 1.
  • It didn’t go well for Weathers. He was greeted by a Marcus Semien double, and then Corey Seager crushed a poorly located changeup for a game tying homer. An Adolis Garcia one out walk was then followed by a hanging slider to Josh Jung that was deposited deep into the left field seats.
  • The final two runs were singletons, one in the seventh one in the eighth, both on Nathaniel Lowe doubles.
  • The home plate umpire was ass with his strike zone, by the way. Absolute ass. Adolis Garcia got rung up at one point on a 3-2 pitch out of the zone and I thought he was going to get run. Bruce Bochy had to come out and get him.
  • Jon Gray topped out at 97.6 mph, averaging 95.5 mph on his fastball. Brock Burke hit 97.7 mph with his fastball. Grant Anderson reached 95.1 mph on his fastball. Aroldis Chapman hit 101.9 mph on his sinker. Will Smith touched 94.0 mph on his fastball.
  • Nathaniel Lowe had doubles at 105.2 mph and 104.9 mph. Josh Jung’s homer was 104.5 mph. Marcus Semien had a 102.9 mph line out. Robbie Grossman’s homer had a 101.8 mph exit velocity.
  • Five wins in a row. A 2.5 game lead in the West. And going for the sweep Sunday.