Game 83: Smells Like Funk
By Mike Luna
It’s been a rough couple of days watching Ranger baseball and it was up to Matt Harrison to turn things around this afternoon.
Harrison came out strong, giving up just 2 runs in 8 innings. Normally that would be enough to win, but the Texas offense amassed a whopping 2 hits against Chicago southpaw Jose Quintana.
Ian Kinsler led off the game with one of those hits, but was erased immediately on a double play. The other hit was a screaming line drive that ricocheted off the pitcher and into right field.
That second hit (courtesy of Adrian Beltre) did score the first run of the game, but Harrison briefly lost his handle on things and gave the run back in the bottom of the same inning.
Kevin Youkilis scored both White Sox runs, the first on a bases loaded fielder’s choice and the other on a lead-off homerun in the 6th.
Great effort by Harrison, but sometimes the offense just doesn’t have it.
Also of note…
- Even though Harrison couldn’t keep Chicago off the board in the 4th, he did minimize the damage. Twice in the inning the bases were loaded, but only the one runner crossed the plate.
In all he gave up the 2 runs on 8 hits, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts.
- Quintana is one of the better pitchers you’ve never heard of. His fastball sat at about 88 or 90 MPH, he mixed his pitches well, and Ranger hitters were kept off balance all day. He struck out 8 and walked 1 in 8 innings of work.
- Addison Reed struck out 2 in a perfect 9th inning.
- Kinsler had a hit and a walk, which made him today’s most productive Ranger. Beltre had his RBI single and Josh Hamilton got hit by a pitch in the 7th, but was then erased on a fielder’s choice.
Not much to work with when you get only 4 or 5 base runners all afternoon.
- A lot of anonymous scouts seemed to think that Youkilis was done before Boston traded him. Watching this series, you get the sense that those scouts were mistaken.
In the last three games, he had 6 hits, 2 walks, 5 runs, 6 RBI, he won last night’s game with a walk-off single, he won today’s game with his solo shot in the 6th, and he played some pretty good defense.
As long as he stays healthy, Youkilis is far from done.
- Both Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski sat out of today’s game, so we missed our last chance to see something like this.
In other news, Pierzynski is still not an All-Star.
- Yu Darvish, on the other hand, is an All-Star. It was announced this afternoon that he won the Final Vote, so he’ll be in KC representing the AL next week.
I can only imagine the hoopla that ensued at MLB headquarters when it became official. “THE RATINGS! THINK OF THE RATINGS!!” they (probably) shouted as they ran around hysterically, looting offices and tearing off their clothes and making out on the copy machine……..or whatever it is people do when they’re overwhelmed with excitement.
The Rangers have lost four in a row and it’ll be up to 21-year-old Martin Perez to play stopper tomorrow night against the Twins. Catch it on TXA-21 at 7:05 Arlington time.
Press on, Rangers fans.
(Leave a comment or find me on Twitter @twbbg. Per usual, thanks to Baseball Reference for their invaluable resources.)