Game 97: Lovin’ the Oven
By Mike Luna
I’ve heard it said that the outcome of any given game comes down to just a handful of plays. I’ll do my best to pinpoint those plays from tonight’s 5-3 win over the Boston Red Sox.
These were the moments that mattered…
1) Those Rare Tangibles — Texas was down 2-0 to start the 4th inning and Michael Young stepped to the plate with a chance to get something going. On a 2-0 pitch, he launched a line drive to right, which went over Cody Ross‘ head, ricocheted off the wall, and came back toward the infield. That stand-up double ignited a 3-run rally that saw the Rangers take their first lead of the night.
2) Make ‘Em Pay — The score was tied at 3 in the 7th when Elvis Andrus took a pitch off of his forearm. After Josh Hamilton struck out, Adrian Beltre slapped a single to right and Andrus scampered to 3rd. On a 1-0 pitch to MY, Josh Beckett uncorked a very wild pitch, Andrus scored without a throw, and the Rangers took the lead for good.
3) What a Relief — Derek Holland threw 7.2 solid innings of baseball, but allowed a single with two out in the 8th. Ron Washington called on Mike Adams for the second night in a row and, after a stolen base put the tying run at 2nd, Dustin Pedroia lined a ball to left. David Murphy put it away with ease to end the inning.
Also of note…
- Holland’s night started out a little bit shaky (with a lead-off walk that came around to score), but he settled down and kept the Sox mostly at bay. In 7.2 innings, he threw 100 pitches, gave up 5 hits, 3 runs, and struck out 7. Two of the hits were solo homeruns and the walk to start the game was his only free pass he of the night.
- Though the Rangers pulled out a win, they did waste a few chances early on. They had runners on the corners with no out in the 3rd, but Yorvit Torrealba was thrown out at the plate with one away. Beltre later popped out with the bases loaded to end the inning.
- One of the Ranger runs came on a suicide squeeze in the 4th. Murphy broke from 3rd as Craig Gentry squared around to bunt. As far as squeezes go, it was about as perfect as you’ll see.
- It was reported this afternoon that Jamilton came into the clubhouse wearing a Roy Hobbs jersey. He must have been Roy from the middle of the movie, ’cause he went 0-for-3 with a walk and didn’t make a lot of good contact.
- Nelson Cruz, on the other hand, hit a ball over the wall in the 8th. That gave Joe Nathan a 2-run cushion going into the 9th.
- Nathan shut the door, needing just 14 pitches to nail down the save.
After an off-day tomorrow, the Rangers host the White Sox Friday night in Arlington. It’s a 7:05 start on TXA-21.
Press on, Rangers fans.
(Leave a comment or find me on Twitter @twbbg. Per usual, thanks to Baseball Reference for their invaluable resources.)