I’ve heard it said that the outcome of any given game comes down to just a few plays. I’ll do my best to pinpoint those plays from tonight’s 6-1 win over the Oakland A’s.
These were the moments that mattered…
1) Run Saver — Oakland had a chance to take an early lead in the 2nd when Yoenis Cespedes led off the inning with a double. He would find himself at 3rd with two out when Kurt Suzuki hit a shallow fly ball to center. Craig Gentry flashed some impressive leather, coming in hard and diving to take an RBI away.
2) Wheels On — Texas failed to record even a hit through 2.2 innings, but Gentry had something to say about that as well. With two out in the 3rd, he hit a soft ground ball to the left of 1st and easily beat Bartolo Colon to the bag. He then went all the way to 3rd on a pick-off throw that got away and scored on an Elvis Andrus single.
You can file that one away under “Making something out of nothing…”
3) Dance the Night Away — Oakland trailed by 4 runs going into the 8th and it was up to Mike Adams to keep it that way. With one out, he hit a batter, gave up a single, and walked someone to load the bases. It wasn’t his prettiest performance of the year, but he came back to strike out Cespedes and coax a pop-up to 3rd.
Also of note…
- Roy Oswalt pitched a fairly effortless 6.1 innings. He seemed to get stronger as the game went on, with all 6 of his strikeouts coming in the 4th inning or later. He allowed only 3 hits, the last of which was a solo homerun that accounted for the only Oakland run of the night. He gave up no walks, but did hit a batter.
- Bartolo Colon shouldn’t be allowed to play for a team called The Athletics.
- Gentry was right in the thick of things tonight. He played fine defense, went 2-for-3, scored a run, and drove in a run (on what looked like a squeeze play with no one covering 1st).
- Josh Hamilton hacked away and struck out in his first three at-bats, then hit a homerun deep to left-center and later tacked on an insurance run with a sac-fly. Talk about salvaging one’s evening.
Adrian Beltre also went deep, which was his only hit of the night.
- Michael Young had another one of those moments where you question how baseball smart he really is. With two men in scoring position and nobody out, David Murphy hit a high chopper to the 2nd baseman. Young was on 3rd at the time, already about half-way down the line, and he…did nothing. He just stood there, like he didn’t know the ball had bounced or was afraid of getting thrown out or something.
No question he should have scored, but Mike Napoli made up for his dumbrain with an RBI single through the right side.
- Alexi Ogando was activated from the DL this afternoon and it didn’t take long for Ron Washington to get a little bit cute with his bullpen.
With one out in the 7th, Robbie Ross had a weak ground ball tick off of his glove for an infield single. Wash wasted no time bringing in Ogando, who walked a batter and just didn’t look sharp. Though no runs scored, I still wonder what sense it made to bring someone in in a semi-high leverage situation after being on the shelf for over a month.
Texas and Oakland are back at it tomorrow afternoon at 2:35 Arlington time on FSSW. Colby Lewis is expected to take the hill for the first time in a couple of weeks.
Press on, Rangers fans.