Justin Grimm hurled 5.0 innings, the bullpen pitched just well enough to contain the lead late in the game, and the offense never let up to give the Rangers an 8-5 win on Wednesday night.
In a perplexing move, manager Ron Washington chose to lift starter his starter in favor of Robbie Ross — two batters into the 6th inning — after Grimm had only thrown 78 pitches. If the Rangers are in the heat of a serious pennant race at the end of the regular season, or if it’s the postseason, then yeah, I can get behind the ideology of going “all-in” to scrape out a victory. But it’s June 26th; September or October baseball this is not.
Justin finished the night allowing 3 runs and 6 hits, striking out 4 and walking none.
Robbie Ross easily had his worst outing of the year from a command standpoint, throwing a season-high 35 pitches in 1.2 innings. He gave up 4 hits and 2 runs — both on an Ichiro Suzuki homer into the 2nd deck in right. With 2 outs in the 7th, Ross was relieved by Neal Cotts, who walked Robinson Cano before striking out Travis Hafner to end the frame. The score was 6-5.
In the top-half of the 8th, the Ranger offense capitalized on a single and an error with one out, which were cashed in through consecutive run-scoring plate-appearances from Lake Dad and Mitch Moreland, respectively. Texas led 8-5 at that point, which turned out to be the final score.
Working for the 4th time in 5 days — and for the 4th time in the Rangers’ last 4 games — Tanner Scheppers pitched a perfect 8th.
Joe Nathan — pitching for the 1st time since recording 4 consecutive saves (Thursday-Sunday) — didn’t allow a base runner in the 9th.
Offensively, the Rangers had a helluva game.
Also, another fun fact that probably won’t blow your mind: with tonight’s win Justin Grimm (7-5) is now tied for the team lead with … Yu Darvish, of course. If ever you questioned the validity of the win/loss stat for Major League pitchers, don’t bother. It’s comparisons between a pitcher with a 5.56 ERA and one with an ERA of 2.95 that make me realize, finally, that sabermetrics are completely worthless, and that to truly understand the depth of baseball I need to become an 8-year-old, again.