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June 25, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton (32) is congratulated by third base coach Dave Anderson (16) after hitting a home run in the seventh inning against the Detroit Tigers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Tigers won 8-2 beating the Rangers. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE

Game 75: 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 7-5 win over the Detroit Tigers.

These were the moments that mattered…

1) Limiting the Damage — For the second game in a row, Yu Darvish didn’t look comfortable early. He started the game with a walk, a strikeout, and a hit-by-pitch. Prince Fielder hit a double to score 2 runs and was moved to 3rd on a ground out. After falling behind Brennan Boesch 3-0, Darvish was able to work the count full before getting Boesch to fly out to right to end the inning and hold Detroit to only 2 runs.
2) Yu Locked In Yet? — After a shaky 1st, Darvish got Jhonny Peralta to line out to Mike Napoli for the first out of the 2nd. From there, Darvish seemed to turn it on. His fastball was finding the edge of the plate. His breaking stuff had a lot more bite to it. Even though he gave up a couple more runs, that seemed to be the point where everything start to click for Darvish.
3) Double Clutch Disaster — With one out in the 4th, Adrian Beltre hit a little dribbler out in front of Drew Smyly. He came off the mound in time to throw out the not-so-speedy Beltre, but he couldn’t get a grip on the ball and wound up throwing it into right field. That was all the Rangers needed, as they went on to score 4 runs and took the lead for good.
4) Pesky Elvis — With one out in the 5th, Elvis Andrus hit a double down the line and moved to 3rd on a Josh Hamilton ground out. With Beltre at the plate, Smyly threw a ball low that Alex Avila was unable to hold onto. Elvis broke for home and scored the winning run standing up.

Random Observation, Apropos of Nothing — Steve Busby, who is still filling in for Dave Barnett on the FSSW broadcast, has been commenting a lot on players (like Fielder) who are a little bit out of shape. No idea what would prompt him to take shots at the big guys, but I’ve noticed it a lot in the first two games of this series.

Also of note…

  • I mentioned that Darvish took a while to get into a groove, just like in the game in San Diego. When it was all said and done, he spun 7 innings of 4-run ball. He gave up only 4 hits, struck out 10, hit 1, and walked 1 (Austin Jackson, the first hitter he faced).
  • Of the 4 hits that Darvish gave up, Fielder hit 2 that resulted in 3 runs. That gives you an idea of how ineffective the rest of the Tiger line-up was against the Japanese righty.
  • It was Mike Adams‘ turn to struggle out of the ‘pen, as he gave up a hit, a walk, and a run in his inning of work. Of course, he also worked his way out of it by getting Miguel Cabrera, Fielder, and Delmon Young in order, so it could have been a lot worse.
    Joe Nathan got back on track by working a perfect 9th.
  • Ian Kinsler led off the bottom of the 1st with a solo homerun, which made everyone feel a lot better about the early deficit. Michael Young collected a single and a triple. Jamilton went deep for the second game in a row (and also threw another bat).
  • Craig Gentry got into the game as a defensive replacement in the 9th, so hopefully his ankle is feeling good enough that he can get back into the line-up soon.
  • In case you missed it, Jared wrote about Colby Lewis being moved to the disabled list, which is a surprising and unfortunate turn of events. Scott Feldman is moving back into the rotation and Martin Perez has been called up to take his place in the ‘pen.

Roy Oswalt will take the hill in tomorrow night’s rubber match. It can be seen on FSSW (or ESPN) at 7:05 Arlington time.

Press on, Rangers fans.

(Leave a comment or find me on Twitter @twbbg. Per usual, thanks to Baseball Reference for their invaluable resources.)

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Tags: Adrian Beltre Alex Avila Colby Lewis Craig Gentry Detroit Tigers Drew Smyly Elvis Andrus Ian Kinsler Jhonny Peralta Joe Nathan Josh Hamilton Michael Young Mike Adams Prince Fielder Texas Rangers Yu Darvish

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