Nelson Cruz celebrated his 31st birthday in style this evening, Cruz hit a three-run homer in the third inning, and put the game out of reach for the Marlins. The Texas Rangers had their traditional offensive power working for them, but was able to add an impressive pitching performance making them unstoppable tonight.
In hockey, after every game they pick three stars and that seems appropriate for tonight’s game, so below are my three stars for tonight’s game.
First Star: Alexi Ogando
Tonight’s starter Ogando was working on a perfect game into the fifth inning, and was impressive on the mound. Posting a career high eight strikeouts on the game, he had his entire arsenal of pitches working for him. I was most impressed by his fastball, which averaged around 95 and touched as high as 98mph. After three bad outings in a row, this was a very refreshing appearance from the right-hander.
Alexi increased his record on the season to 8-3, and a career-high 8 strikeouts in the game. In 6.2 innings he allowed five hits and two runs, along with two walks.
Second Star: Nelson Cruz
Six RBIs on the night from Nelson, with a 3-run homer and a three RBI triple. What a way to celebrate your birthday! It was tough for me to put Nellie as the second star with such a dominating performance.
Third Star: Taylor Teagarden
Teagarden, who doesn’t get the opportunity to play everyday, was more than just a defensive catcher tonight. Taylor was 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored. I’m not entirely sure what to attribute his swing to, but he should keep doing that.
Here is some more data on Ogando’s start from Brooks Baseball. Below is a map of his velocity, you can see the 98 that he hit. He had very good control all night, and you can see how the sudden changes in velocity could mix up a batter.
This was the performance I’ve been waiting on from the Rangers. The pitching and offense both coming together on the same night, it’s something this team has needed. Production came from almost everyone one in the lineup. We even witnessed Andres Blanco’s third career home run in this game. They finished this one 15-5, and face the Marlins again tomorrow and Sunday.
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