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 9-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
These were the moments that mattered…
1) The Extra Base — Ian Kinsler led off the 1st with a double and Elvis Andrus followed with a linedrive to the right fielder. Kinsler was aggressive, tagging up and easily making it to 3rd on the play. He would score two batters later on a wild pitch, manufacturing a run by taking nothing for granted.
2) Missed It By That Much — Colby Lewis wouldn’t get himself into trouble much in this game, but in the 2nd inning he fell behind Jason Kubel 3-0. Rather than taking all the way, Kubel jumped on the next pitch and popped it up to center for the start of a 1-2-3 shutdown inning.
3) Getting It Right Back — The first Arizona baserunner wouldn’t come until the 6th inning. With one out, Aaron Hill hit a single to left, but on the very next pitch Kinsler would field a chopper just in front of Hill as he ran toward 2nd. Kinsler was able to run him down and still throw to 1st for the double play.
4) The Floodgates Open — Aside from the run in the 1st, Ian Kennedy was sailing through the first half of the game. After getting two quick outs in the 6th, he gave up a single to Michael Young. From there the Rangers would score 5 2-out runs to chase Kennedy from the game and take a commanding lead.
Random Observation, Apropos of Nothing — Tonight’s pitching match-up was really a battle of the scraggly beards. Lewis and Kennedy are very similar pitchers, especially in the manly facial hair department.
Also of note…
- Lewis is pitching like an ace right now. Tonight he threw a complete game, 1-run, 4-hit, 7-strikeout, 1-walk gem. He was perfect through 5.1 innings and would need only 105 pitches. In his last 3 starts combined he has allowed only 5 runs.
- Kennedy was pitching very well into the 6th, but then the bottom fell out. With two out the Rangers went single, homerun, single, double, double, single. Brad Ziegler would be summoned to get the final out of the inning, but by then the score was 6-0.
- The Texas offense continued to do what it started to do over the weekend. The hits were timely and a few of them fell in where they weren’t falling in a week or two ago. Texas had 16 hits and every hitter scored except for Josh Hamilton (who drove in the 9th run of the evening). David Murphy, Mitch Moreland, and Craig Gentry were a combined 6-for-12 and each collected 2 RBIs.
- In case you hadn’t heard, Alexi Ogando has been placed on the disabled list with a groin strain. He’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks and Michael Kirkman has been called up to take his place in the bullpen. Kirkman and Mark Lowe both warmed in tonight’s game, but Lewis had everything well in hand.
- There isn’t much else that can be said about this one. That’s the sort of game it was. Quiet. Efficient. A good win and a good way to start the homestand.
They’ll do it again tomorrow at 7:05 Arlington time on FSSW. Matt Harrison is expected to pitch.
Press on, Rangers fans.