April 17, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus (1) catches a fly ball against the Boston Red Sox during the sixth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Game 11: Moments that Mattered

I’ve heard it said that the outcome of any given game comes down to about 4 plays. I’ll do my best to pinpoint those plays from Tuesday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox.

These were the moments that mattered…

1) The Cody Ross Chop — Six pitches into the game, Colby Lewis helped put Boston on the board. After a lead-off single, Dustin Pedroia put one up on the Green Monster. That was followed by another single, two outs, and a double. With runners at Second and Third, Ross hit a chop back to Lewis, which ended the inning and limited the early damage.
2) Cruz Sets the Table — In the next half inning, Nelson Cruz followed a Michael Young strikeout with a double to deep center field. Three pitches later Mike Napoli crushed a homerun over the Monster, tying the game at 2.
3) Elvis Shows His Wheels — After Napoli’s HR, Jon Lester managed to load the bases on two walks and a single. Elvis Andrus stepped to the plate and hit a first pitch dribbler into no-man’s land. With Andrus’ speed, Lester could only hold onto the ball and allow another run to score.
4) The Shutdown Inning — Lewis sat on the bench for almost 30 minutes as the Rangers took a 2-run lead in the 2nd. He did exactly what he was supposed to do in the next half inning, getting the Sox 1-2-3 and letting his offense back on the field.

Also of note…

  • All of the most significant moments in tonight’s game happened in the first two innings. By the time the top of the 3rd was over, the Rangers were winning 7-2 and Texas kept pouring it on, making the last six innings something of a formality. The final scored was 18-3.
  • Lewis started off the night somewhat shaky. He was elevating the ball early and Boston hitters were making solid contact. He settled down after the 1st and went seven innings with 7 strikeouts and no walks.
  • Lester was actually great in the 1st. He was keeping the ball down and got a double play to end the inning. He started the 2nd by striking out Young, but then started to nibble and stopped throwing strikes. He got Young a second time in that inning after giving up 4 runs on 5 hits.
  • Texas amassed 21 hits on the night, but also forced the Red Sox pitching staff to throw strikes by taking 8 walks.
  • Boston featured six pitchers who threw 218 pitches. 133 of those pitches were strikes, which is five less than the total number of pitches thrown by Texas. Mark Melancon gave up six runs and failed to record an out.
  • The Rangers hit six homeruns. Two from Napoli, one from Young, one from Josh Hamilton, one from Adrian Beltre, and one from Cruz.
  • Koji Uehara came in to work the 8th and gave up a homerun to Adrian Gonzalez. Better he do it with a 12-run lead, right? 
  • Mark Lowe also made an appearance, cleaning up in the 9th.

The Rangers will finish this 2-game series tomorrow night at 6:10 Arlington time. It should be played on FSSW locally and ESPN nationally. Derek Holland is expected to make his third start of the young season.

Press on, Rangers fans.

(Leave a comment or find me on Twitter @BleacherSeatsTX. As always, thanks to Baseball Reference for their invaluable resources.)

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Tags: Adrian Beltre Boston Red Sox Colby Lewis Elvis Andrus Jon Lester Josh Hamilton Koji Uehara Mark Lowe Mark Melancon Michael Young Mike Napoli Nelson Cruz Texas Rangers

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