Rangers in San Antonio: Game 1

Photo By Thomas Backlund- Lewis Brinson celebrates his walk-off home run

Photo By Thomas Backlund- Lewis Brinson celebrates his walk-off home run

The Rangers and Royals played a game in San Antonio today. Some thoughts:

  • Derek Holland was the starting pitcher. Holland, after missing most of the past two seasons due to knee and shoulder injuries, is looking to be an effective and consistent member of the rotation in 2016. He had a less-than stellar start today, struggling to miss bats. While it could be argued that the two early home runs were more an effect of a right field line of only 272 feet, Royals hitters were making a lot of solid contact. It's unclear whether or not Holland was working on anything specific, or if this was just a rough outing. Holland went 3.1 innings on 71 pitches, giving up 7 hits and 2 walks for 4 earned runs. It's still Spring Training, but I'd imagine Holland was looking for something a bit different today.
     
  • The Rangers offense didn't get going until the bottom of the 3rd inning. Drew Robinson, and Hanser Alberto singled, and Drew Stubbs hit a bloop double into left field to score Robinson. When Delino DeShields grounded out to 2nd in the next at-bat, Alberto scored, although DeShields was ruled safe. From replays, he certainly looked safe, once again showcasing his elite speed.
     
  • Texas had a chance in the bottom of the 5th inning with Hanser Alberto on 3rd and Delino DeShields getting a single to reach 1st. Jurickson Profar ended up grounding out to 2nd to end the inning.
     
  • In the bottom of the 7th inning, Jared Hoying hit a no-doubt 2-run home run into the 3rd deck over the right field wall to tie the game 4-4.
     
  • In the ongoing battle for a roster spot, both Ryan Rua and Justin Ruggiano managed to get on base once; Rua with a single and Ruggiano with a walk. At this point, I think it'd be awfully hard for Texas to choose Ruggiano over Rua. Rua has had a fantastic camp, seems to be the more versatile player, and it someone the Rangers have grown to really like over the past few seasons. His unfortunate injury in 2015 is arguably the biggest reason he hasn't managed to break out just yet, but could be someone that could effectively contribute as a fourth outfielder, 1st baseman, and backup infielder at times.
     
  • Sam Dyson came in to pitch the 9th inning for Texas, and although he gave up the go-ahead home run, it was to right-center field, an area in which the wall is much more shallow than a normal ballpark. Considering the ball only went three rows deep, I'm not so sure that ball is a home run in Arlington.
     
  • The Rangers had one last chance in the bottom of 9th inning. Jose Trevino led off with a single to center field. The next batter, Josh Morgan, grounded into a fielder's choice, but was safe at 1st base. Doug Bernier struck out for the 2nd out, and Jared Hoying had one more chance to extend the game. After working the count full, Hoying took a walk, and Lewis Brinson came to the plate. He hit a 3-run, walk-off home run to center field. The Rangers won the game 7-5 after never leading at any point in the game.
     
  • All told, the game ended up with an attendance figure of 27,536, which is actually higher than some regular season games. Considering it was a Spring Training game and was in neither team's home ballpark, that's a pretty impressive draw.
     
  • All in all, a fantastic event, and one that the Rangers and San Antonio do a great job putting together. I'm very appreciative of being given the opportunity by the Rangers to cover the game from the field and the press box. A great event by a class organization.
     
  • Without further ado, video of the Lewis Brinson home run that won the game: