Game 76: 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 Tuesday night’s 13-9 win over the Detroit Tigers.
These were the moments that mattered…
1) There’s More Where That Came From — The Rangers started their scoring in the 2nd inning and took advantage of a Tiger miscue. With two on and no out, Miguel Cabrera fielded a chopper at 3rd and then promptly threw it into the stands instead of getting an out. The first run of the night scored, though it wouldn’t nearly be the last.
2) Bailin’ Out Beltre — It was a fight, but Roy Oswalt got into the 6th inning with the Ranger lead intact. With one out and the big Tiger bats looming, Austin Jackson walked and Quintin Berry singled. Cabrera stepped to the plate with a chance to do some damage, but instead hit a chopper to Adrian Beltre at 3rd. Beltre stepped on the bag and threw across the diamond wide of 1st. Michael Young was able to lunge to his left, wrangle the throw, and swipe-tag Cabrera for the third out.
3) Sorry, Kid — Martin Perez made his Major League debut in the 8th and had a 6-run lead to work with. He gave up two singles, a run, and a walk, but seemed poised to get out of it when Prince Fielder hit a ground ball to the right side. Ian Kinsler got to the ball alright, but threw it up and out of the reach of Perez, who was covering 1st. It went down as an error and 3 more runs would score before Mike Adams could shut the Tigers down. The 6-run cushion had shrunk to 2.
4) Gettin’ More Strange — Kinsler sort of made up for his error in the next half inning when he hit a pop-up that none of the Tigers wanted to catch. Ryan Raburn drifted to his left, then tried to recover to his right as the ball plunked down in front of him. Kinsler didn’t really do anything on the play, except hustle. His hustle put him on 2nd, which led to an insurance run on a perfect bunt by Elvis Andrus.
Random Observation, Apropos of Nothing — My dad is currently working in Carolina. (Not sure if it’s North or South and I doubt anyone out there could tell me the difference anyway.) Last night he called asking about blackout restrictions on MLB.tv because this series wasn’t available to him.
I guess that part of the map is considered Tiger country, for reasons that would be impossible to understand.
Also of note…
- Oswalt pitched alright in his second Ranger start. He looked good in the 1st, but wasn’t nearly as sharp from the 3rd inning on. Maybe he got out of rhythm during a long bottom of the 2nd, I don’t know. Through 6 innings of work he gave up 13 hits, 5 runs, walked 2, and struck out 6.
- If nothing else, it would be apt to loudly declare “ALL ROY OSWALT DOES IS WIN!!” if you were the sort of person that would loudly declare such a thing.
- Robbie Ross walked 1 in a scoreless inning, Perez had his rookie misadventure, Adams gave up 2 hits (allowing 2 runs to score, but preserving the lead), and Joe Nathan saved the game in a non-save situation.
- For most of the night the Rangers and Tigers just traded blows. Shutdown innings were in short supply and no lead felt safe. Texas never fell behind, but Detroit just kept on coming back until they could come back no more.
The 12 round boxing match finally ended with 22 combined runs and 33 combined hits.
- David Murphy had himself a night at the plate, going 4-for-5 with 2 homeruns and 5 RBI. Kinsler also hit a HR to cap off a 9 pitch at-bat. MY collected 2 more hits.
- The only Ranger not to get a hit or walk was Josh Hamilton, who struck out 4 times and lost another bat in the stands.
- It would take a long time to really explain how weird this game was. Players were throwing the ball all over the place. MY horribly botched a rundown. Rayburn lost Kinsler’s pop-up. Cabrera was almost hit by Oswalt and the Tigers sent a message by almost hitting Beltre. Nathan struck someone out on a ball that got away and the runner reached 1st.
One of those games where you accept the weirdness and hope that it ultimately settles in your favor, I guess.
The Rangers have not played well against the AL West this season, but they can make a statement starting tomorrow. The A’s are in town for a 4-game set and Scott Feldman will pitch in Colby Lewis‘ place. First pitch is 7:05 Arlington time on FSSW.
Press on, Rangers fans.
(Leave a comment or find me on Twitter @twbbg. Per usual, thanks to Baseball Reference for their invaluable resources.)