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Thoughts on a 9-8 Rangers win

Rangers 9, Mariners 8

Seattle Mariners v Texas Rangers Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Rangers 9, Mariners 8

  • A win! And a sweep! Woo hoo!!!
  • An exciting, nerve-wracking win. And not to complain, but it would be nice if Texas could put up a couple of not so exciting wins. The type where there’s a big lead and the big lead is sustained all game. One or two of those early this week would be a good thing.
  • Nathan Eovaldi’s velocity was down all day by about 2.5 mph on his pitches compared to his season average. He was not real sharp, but he managed to strike out six batters in five innings, due in large part to a splitter that generated seven swings and misses.
  • But when the Mariners made contact off of Eovaldi, they hit him hard. Out of 14 balls in play, seven had exit velocities of at least 100 mph, and five more were over 90 mph. It was not his best day.
  • Still, Eovaldi entered the sixth inning having allowed just two runs, thanks in part to a great throw home by Leody Taveras in the second inning to nail Jarred Kelenic at the plate, and Texas had given him a comfy 7-2 lead. Things seemed under control. At least, until a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases with no one out.
  • Martin Perez retired a pair of batters on productive outs that made it 7-4 before pinch hitter Sam Haggerty tripled to bring the tying run to the plate. A fly out, and an Evan Carter two run shot in the bottom of the inning, gave the Rangers more breathing room.
  • Breathing room it turned out they needed. Perez retired the first two batters he faced before walking a pair of batters on 3-2 counts, prompting Bruce Bochy to go get Chris Stratton to try to finish out the seventh.
  • It didn’t work. Stratton gave up a 1-2 single, a 2-2 single, and an 0-2 single, turning it into a 9-8 game.
  • How desperate was Bruce Bochy at that moment? Well, he brought Jonathan Hernandez into the game. A one run game with the tying run at second and go-ahead run on first. Jonathan Hernandez was asked to out out the fire.
  • And it worked, as Dominic Canzone popped out to end the inning. Jonathan Hernandez is back, baby!
  • Well, kind of. After a pair of ground ball outs in the eighth, Hernandez gave up a J.P. Crawford single and a Julio Rodriguez double to put the tying and go ahead runs in scoring position. Brock Burke was summoned and threw three fastballs past Cal Raleigh to end the inning.
  • Jose Leclerc came out of the pen throwing smoke in the ninth, striking out the first two batters he faced. Because nothing can be easy, Eugenio Suarez doubled on a two out, 2-2 pitch, making bootyholes tight again. Canzone ripped a cutter for what I was sure would be a game tying single, but Nathaniel Lowe snagged it and ended the game.
  • We could all breathe a sigh of relief. (Relief — HA!)
  • The offense did good things, and that was fun.
  • Marcus Semien had a pair of homers, including one where he got an assist from Julio Rodriguez, who did a Sinjin Smith imitation and turned a double or triple into a homer. That’s 27 homers on the season for Semien, as well as 97 RBIs, which is pretty impressive for a leadoff hitter.
  • Corey Seager homered as well. And so did Adolis Garcia. And so did Leody Taveras and Evan Carter. That is six Ranger homers in all, accounting for all nine Rangers runs. In fact, Texas had just eight hits on the day, one fewer hit than they had runs.
  • The two non-homer hits for the Rangers were a bloop single by Mitch Garver and a looped single by Leody Taveras. Leody also added a walk, as part of a very strong game that no doubt frustrated his many haters.
  • While the Rangers were handling Seattle this weekend, the Astros were being swept at home by a Kansas City Royals team that had 102 losses heading into the series. So that’s a 2.5 game lead on Houston in the division, and a 3 game lead on Seattle.
  • Nathan Eovaldi topped out at 96.3 mph with his fastball. Martin Perez hit 93.4 mph with his sinker. Chris Stratton reached 93.8 mph. Jonathan Hernandez maxed out at 98.6 mph with his sinker. Brock Burke threw three pitches, all fastballs, the fastest of which was 96.8 mph. Jose Leclerc hit 98.7 mph with his fastball.
  • Corey Seager had a 112.5 mph line out and a 99.8 mph home run. Adolis Garcia had a 109.2 mph home run. Marcus Semien had home runs of 106.4 and 102.2 mph. Jonah Heim had a 104.5 mph line out. Evan Carter had a 101.9 mph home run. Leody Taveras had a 99.0 mph home run.
  • The final week looms. Three in Anaheim, four in Seattle. Let’s see if Texas can wrap this up.