I’ve heard it said that the outcome of any given game comes down to just a handful of plays. I’ll do my best to pinpoint those plays from tonight’s 6-2 loss to the Anaheim Angels.
These were the moments that mattered…
1) The Wrong Guy to Walk — Derek Holland was pretty much cruising through the first half of the ball game, but got himself into trouble by issuing a lead-off walk to Chris Iannetta in the 6th. That rolled the line-up over to Mike Trout, who Holland fell behind 3-1 before grooving a fastball, which Trout took over the fence. 3-0 Angels, at that point.
2) Squandered Opportunity — It was 4-0 going into the bottom of the 6th, which felt like an insurmountable deficit with Jered Weaver on the mound. There was hope, though, as Mike Napoli led off the inning with a walk and Mitch Moreland followed with a line drive up the middle. Ian Kinsler had a chance to do some damage, but instead popped out to 1st on the second pitch he saw. Texas would not score in the inning.
Also of note…
- Holland was doing well until the 6th when he vomited everywhere, then fell down and died. Through the first 5 innings he had walked 2 and given up 1 hit (a solo homerun to Albert Pujols). In the 6th, he walked 1 and gave up 2 more homeruns (Trout’s mentioned above and another solo shot to Pujols).
His final line was 6.2 innings pitched, 5 hits, 6 runs, 4 walks, and 5 strikeouts.
- Weaver didn’t actually look very sharp to me, as he left a lot of stuff up in the zone. Still got the job done to the tune of 6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K.
On any given night, that’s about the best that you can hope for against a pitcher like Weaver.
- If you need an indication of how pathetic the Ranger offense was, look at the top four hitters in the line-up. Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, and Nelson Cruz all went 0-for-4.
- David Murphy‘s 1 hit was a double just out of Trout’s reach, which plated the 2 Ranger runs.
- I’m not sure what it is about light-hitting Angel catchers. Bobby Wilson has torched Texas at the plate this year and tonight Holland walked Iannetta twice.
As a general rule of thumb, you’re allowed to challenge a guy who’s hitting .200. In fact, it’s encouraged.
- The title of this recap is a reference to Futurama. Props if you can tell me who said it and in what context.
Game 3 of this 4-game set continues tomorrow night with Yu Darvish on the bump. It’s a 7:05 start on FSSW.
Press on, Rangers fans.