Game 13: Moments that Mattered
By Mike Luna
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 Thursday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers.
These were the moments that mattered…
1) Getting Away with One — Yu Darvish started his third Big League game by getting an out and then walking Brennan Boesch. Miguel Cabrera grounded out to move the runner to Second and Darvish had to deal with Prince Fielder. Fielder hit the first pitch to Second for the third out. The pitch was called low and drifted up in the zone, but Fielder didn’t get enough of it. It was the start of a solid outing for Darvish.
2) Napstick’d — In the next half inning, Mike Napoli took a pitch deep to right field. It didn’t look particularly well-struck, but it kept drifting and drifting until it was gone. Tonight was his 4th consecutive game with a homerun, so it’s probably safe to say that he’s in a groove.
3) E’s & Tricky Hops — In the 5th, with Texas up by only a run and Josh Hamilton on First, Adrian Beltre hit into what should have been a fielder’s choice. Miguel Cabrera failed to record an out, however. Two batters later, with the bases loaded, Nelson Cruz hit a ball that bounced through Ramon Santiago‘s legs and into right field. Both were scored as errors and the Rangers put two runs on the board, giving Darvish a little bit more room to breathe.
4) Fast & Loose & Out at Third — Delmon Young walked in the 6th with 2 out, then Yorvit Torrealba had trouble finding a pitch that dribbled away from him. Young took Second easily, but broke for Third even though the ball was only two or three feet from the Ranger catcher. He was thrown out easily, which ended the 6th and any chance of a rally. Not very smart base running.
Also of note…
- Darvish had his best start to date. His ball-to-strike ratio wasn’t great (51-70) and he walked 5, but he only gave up 2 hits and got 5 K’s. Once again, though, I’ll harp on him for not throwing enough first-pitch strikes. Hopefully he continues to work more aggressively early in the count.
- For the first time, Darvish pitched past 5.2 innings. He recorded one out in the 7th, but Ian Kinsler bobbled a ball on what could have been a double play. For all intents and purposes, Darvish pitched 7 strong innings.
- For the second time in three games, Texas put on a hitting clinic. They amassed 19 hits and 6 walks, scoring 10 runs (5 in the 8th). They did leave 15 men on base, which would be worrisome on any other night. They also stole 4 bases, the first time this season that they’ve really stretched their legs.
- Robbie Ross pitched in the 8th and got a little roughed up. He loaded the bases with two out and gave up a hit to Don Kelly. Scott Feldman came in, finished the 8th, and pitched a scoreless 9th.
- The final score was 10-3 and the Rangers have won seven in a row after Joe Nathan‘s hiccup against Seattle. They are absolutely rolling right now, so make sure you enjoy it. They will (probably) lose another game eventually.
- For those of you who missed it, Pudge Rodriguez will officially announce his retirement in Arlington on Monday afternoon. If you know anything about the Texas Rangers, I don’t need to tell you how much he meant to the franchise.
Matt Harrison will bring his AL-leading .64 ERA to the mound tomorrow night against these same Tigers. The game will air on TXA-21 at 6:05 Arlington time.
Press on, Rangers fans.
(Leave a comment or find me on Twitter @BleacherSeatsTX. As always, thanks to Baseball Reference for their invaluable resources.)