Sometimes in baseball, you just have to tip your cap to the other team. That is what the Texas Rangers had to do after a Game 2 World Series loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Merrill Kelly pitched a masterpiece on Saturday, and shutdown the explosive Texas offense with seven solid innings of work. After the Rangers ended Friday night's Game 1 with fireworks, Game 2 had but only one spark.
Kelly had the unenviable task of quieting the Rangers offense, the day after they had not only smashed two of the biggest home runs in franchise history but had put together nine total hits and ten walks. The walk off win that the Ranges enjoyed on Friday was epic and had the team and their fans teeming with excitement and confidence.
In baseball there is an old saying that momentum is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher. For the Rangers, Jordan Montgomery had a gutsy outing. He didn't have his best stuff but managed to keep the team in the game. But for the Diamondbacks, they trotted out Kelly who was on point and dominate throughout.
The Rangers didn't record their first hit of the game until there were two outs in the fourth inning. Their lone run came on a solo shot by designated hitter, Mitch Garver in the bottom half of the fifth. That was it, one run and no real threats for anything else. There were a few deep fly balls to the warning track scattered throughout the game, but they all fell harmlessly into Arizona's gloves.
When a pitcher is on like Kelly was last night, it is hard to get anything going at all. He was getting the Rangers to chase a little more than they usually do, but part of that was the expanded strike zone that the home plate umpire was giving him. As a pitcher, when you are locating your pitches and hitting your spots, you can sometimes get an umpire to just start looking for reasons to call strikes. That was part of Kelly's success last night, though only part of it. He actually was phenomenal and deserves all the credit for shutting down a robust Texas offense.
Because of Kelly's effort, the World Series is now tied at one game apiece as it transitions to Arizona for Games 3 thru 5, starting on Monday night. So far, this series has featured a little bit of everything and hasn't disappointed in the entertainment category. Enjoy the ride!
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