The game was closer than it seemed throughout the entire night. Even when the Rangers had a 5-1 lead on a Mitch Moreland homerun, the Royals had several opportunities when they had the tying and even the go-ahead run at the plate. However, Matt Harrison, then Tanner Scheppers, Mike Adams and Alexi Ogando (with Joe Nathan getting a night off) shut the door to give the Rangers their third straight win.
Moreland’s homerun was notable not just because it provided the winning runs but also because it was hit off of Jose Mijares. Mijares is a left-handed pitcher and Ron Washington usually sits Moreland against southpaws. He only had 25 at bats entering the game against left handed pitchers and hit .200/.259/.360 with only 1 homerun. The confidence Washington showed in Moreland might be a turning point with Moreland sitting yesterday against C.J Wilson, a lefty. With Mike Olt needing at bats, Moreland may still sit but with Mike Napoli probably staying at catcher there will be more opportunities for Moreland against left handers.
This game, believe it or not, was the first win in three games against the Royals this season and it almost got away. I alluded to the missed opportunities for the Royals, but the Rangers also had their share of runs left on the bases. Both teams hit into two double plays and the Royals even scored a run due to one with the bases loaded.
Harrison pitched well, regaining his form into the seventh inning and getting the win and getting out of trouble early. Of note as well, I’m not sure if the Kansas City gun was hot but both Scheppers and Ogando hit 100 mph on the night which shows the raw talent the Rangers have in the bullpen. We know what Ogando can do in short inning stints now but it was nice to see Scheppers do that. He was a high draft pick for the Rangers and a good fastball is just part of the package but it is very promising.