The Rangers Are 44-25

Raise your hand if you thought that was a loss after seven innings.

  • I say that, because I did. This was yet another game that the Rangers shouldn't have really been expected to win down the stretch. For starters, Prince Fielder got the start yet again over Mitch Moreland at first base, Nick Martinez and Cesar Ramos pitched the bulk of the innings, and they were stuck playing in a National League park.
  • Fortunately, baseball games go nine innings, and there's no time limit. Martinez and Ramos pitched well enough to keep things from getting out of hand, and Texas managed to score two runs in the top of the eighth inning.
  • With two outs in the eighth inning, Shin-Soo Choo singled, Ian Desmond doubled, and on a wild pitch -- that Nomar Mazara actually swung at -- Choo scored. Mazara put the ball in play down the first base line, and a Matt Adams error got him aboard safely while scoring Ian Desmond. That made it 3-2 going into the bottom half of the eighth.
  • Shawn Tolleson came in to work that eighth inning, and after starting off with a walk to Stephen Piscotty, he induced a pop-up to Matt Adams, a strikeout of Jhonny Peralta, and Robinson Chirinos threw out Piscotty at second base to end the inning.
  • Rougned Odor led off the ninth with a single that he simply beat out with his legs, followed by a single by Jurickson Profar, who was playing SS today. Robinson Chirinos was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases with no outs.
  • After a shallow fly ball by Ryan Rua that wasn't quite deep enough to score a run, Shin-Soo Choo took a bases loaded walk to score the tying run.
  • That brought up Ian Desmond. Desmond, who had a huge play in center field to throw out Kolten Wong at the plate in the bottom of the fifth, came up with an opportunity to plate the go-ahead run. He took a pitch and ripped it down the left field line. It initially looked like it might get past the outstretched glove of Tommy Pham, but Pham made the catch. No matter, the ball was hit deep enough to score Profar from third and give the Rangers a 4-3 lead.
  • Jake Diekman came in with the save opportunity in the bottom of the ninth and worked a 1-2-3 inning and preserving (another) come-from-behind win for Texas. I liked the decision to go with Diekman rather than Dyson. Moves like that could prove to be important in preserving the back-end of the bullpen through the summer months of the season.
  • I wanted to take a moment to highlight just how good Ian Desmond has been. I was initially critical of his signing. At the time, it didn't make much sense, but here he is, playing stellar center field and sporting a wRC+ of 126.
  • Another guy I'd like to highlight: Shin-Soo Choo. With Nomar Mazara's hot start, it was easy to forget about Choo, but he's been the perfect example of not judging a player by batting average. While his is .235, his OBP is .458 and he now has a wRC+ of 135 on the season. Yeah, he's pretty important to what this team wants to do in 2016.
  • Robinson Chirinos left the game after being hit on the arm by a pitch. It was the same arm the caused him to miss the majority of the season thus far. According to Evan Grant, X-rays were negative for a fracture, so that's at least somewhat good news.
  • Another series win, and an opportunity for a sweep tomorrow at 1:15 PM. Martin Perez takes the mound against Mike Leake and the Cardinals.