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 Sunday afternoon’s 9-3 win over the Houston Astros.
These were the moments that mattered…
1) Big D — Both pitchers pitched well and the score remained tied going into the 5th. Colby Lewis allowed the Astros to string a weird sequence together as he issued his first (and only) walk of the afternoon with one out, than uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the runner to move all the way to 3rd. That run scored on a single by Matt Downs and Downs wound up at 2nd with two out. Jordan Schafer hit a sinking line drive to right, which Brandon Snyder caught on a dive. It wasn’t the most spectacular play, but it was one that needed to be made and Snyder made it.
2) Righting Wrongs — In the 4th inning, Ian Kinsler stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two out. He popped the second pitch straight up into the air to end the Ranger threat. Two innings later he had the exact same opportunity with very different results. This time he battled before lining a pitch into the left-center field gap for a bases clearing triple. The Rangers weren’t done in the inning, either.
3) Pouring It On — Elvis Andrus followed Kinsler’s triple with a walk and it was up to Michael Young to cash in some more runs. Cash them in he did, as he rolled a single under the glove of Houston’s first baseman, scoring both runners and making it a 5 run inning.
4) Capping It Off — Adrian Beltre followed up Young’s single with a 2-run homerun that ended the barrage and sealed the win. Where it had been 1-0 Astros it was suddenly 7-1 Rangers. Texas would add 2 insurance runs later in the game, but they wouldn’t need them.
Random Observation, Apropos of Nothing — The FSSW Girls were used in a commercial to promote the upcoming series in San Diego as the “last interleague series of the year.” That’s not really accurate, as the Rockies are coming to Arlington for a 3-game series next weekend.
Seems as though somebody should have caught that.
Also of note…
- Lewis has been on a roll of late and continued it this afternoon. He threw 7 innings of 1-run ball, gave up 3 hits and 1 walk, striking out 10. I hope everybody remembers this stretch the next time that Lewis has a bad outing.
- In all three games in this series the Rangers struggled with the bats early before breaking through with a big inning somewhere in the middle of the game. Don’t discount this sweep because it’s the Astros, ’cause you’ve got to beat whoever is on your schedule and Texas is doing that right now.
- Tanner Scheppers and Michael Kirkman pitched in the 8th and 9th respectively. Neither pitched particularly well.
Scheppers was only able to get two outs, loading the bases and allowing 2 runs to score before Robbie Ross came in to clean up. Kirkman loaded the bases on 2 walks (and an Andrus error) before getting a ground ball that ended the game.
You’d like to see more from your young relievers, though we may be just spoiled by Ross at this point.
- Josh Hamilton was at today’s game, but didn’t play. He is expected to play tomorrow night after missing this series with a stomach virus.
As mentioned above, Texas travels to San Diego for the not-last interleague series of the year. Matt Harrison should take the hill at 9:05 Arlington time. It can be seen on FSSW.
Press on, Rangers fans.