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G4: Rangers blow out Angels, 11-6

11-6 doesn’t seem like a blowout, but until the 9th inning, it was 11-0, which most definitely qualifies as a blowout.
This game was started by Kason Gabbard, who arrived in Texas as a promising young pitcher, but has taken over the mantle of “highly erratic, fairly fragile”. On top of all that, his spring training ERA was 10.80. Not something that a pitching weak franchise really needs. Still, it was uniform number 13 out there on the hill for the Rangers this night, and he pitched like he was wearing #34 instead. OK, maybe not that great, but he was a major surprise. Gabbard’s line was 7 innings pitched, ZERO runs allowed on seven hits, two walks, and four k’s. OK, the Ryan comparison was silly, but it was a way better pitched game than I think any Rangers fan was expecting.
He was backed up by a lot of offense. Five doubles, a triple, and one home run. However, the home run was not your garden variety one – it was a grand slam by Ben Broussard. Josh Hamilton was 2-5 with 3 RBI’s, Ian Kinsler was 3-5 with 2 RBI’s and two runs scored, David Murphy was 2-4, heck Ramon Vazquez was 2-3 with a run scored. Was a nice night, and the grand slam certainly capped the offense.
It was a snoozer until the ninth inning. Up 11-0 going into the last half frame of the game, Dustin Nippert made his Rangers debut, and it was a big ol’ pile of stink. Let’s put it this way, when your ERA after your first appearance is 81.00, there’s no way to clean that up. It sucked. Hard.
It’s why I called an 11-6 game a blowout, as it really wasn’t “The Rangers” that gave up 6, it was Dustin Nippert. :)
Still, a win is a win. That’s good.