The Rangers won a game, getting them to 40 wins on the season, and reaching .500 since the All-Star break. Some thoughts:
- Miles Mikolas was really good tonight. He lasted 7.1 innings on 105 pitches, finishing strong. He allowed 2 earned runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, while the Yankees were only able to amass 5 total hits on the evening.
- Shin-Soo Choo broke a career-worst 0-for-22 hitless streak, coming through with a 2-for-5 performance with a double and an RBI. Choo getting healthy/productive leading into 2015 will be one of the most important things for the ball club going forward, so tonight's outing, while a small sample size, is at least encouraging.
- Shane Greene very nearly broke this one open for Texas early, committing 3 errors -- the first of which I thought should have been ruled a hit since Leonys Martin beat him to the bag to begin with -- and struggling to throw the ball to 1st base on several occasions. The Rangers were able to drive him from the game in the 6th inning, and all told, Greene gave up 4 earned runs.
- Geovany Soto left the game after the top half of the 6th inning with some sort of groin injury, because of course he did. There's no word yet on the severity, but the hope would be that it isn't something that will hinder him in any way that might require a trip to the DL.
- Speaking of injuries, Jake Smolinski -- who was 2-for-3 on the night -- left the game with a leg injury after fouling a ball off of his shin. It's not something that figures to be too serious, but as a precaution, the Rangers went ahead and got him out. I'm not really sure what Smolinski's future might be with the club, but I'd be thrilled to see him make the rest of the season an audition for 2015.
- I've long been a supporter of Leonys Martin. I was on board with giving him a shot full-time in center field as opposed to Craig Gentry, as the upside was quite obviously higher for Martin. With that said, he hasn't progressed in the way he was expected to on a lot of fronts. The phsycial tools and athleticism are still there, but sometimes, he just seems dumb and lost on the field, both at the plate and in center field. I'm not sure if there's anything behind this, but I'd imagine Martin needs to show some progress over the course of the rest of this season, or the Rangers very well may look to find another option as a full-time center fielder.
- Another random thought, with absolutely no basis behind it other than me speculating. Joakim Soria for Matt Kemp. Who says no? Go.