The Rangers series against the Angels certainly wouldn’t have finished the season. Heck, the Angels are technically in third place – most everyone seems to be forgetting about the A’s hanging in there. However, the Angels are still our primary rival in the division, and you never want to be swept by your rival in intra-divisional play. So, when we went down 6-0 in the top of the THIRD inning of this game, I had tuned out. Was a game I was watching on my iPhone while my the Olympics were on. Yeah, OK we scored a run in the bottom of the third, but 6-1 after three was not the kind of game I wanted to watch, so I checked out.
Yu Darvish started this game, and was pretty bad. He allowed more walks than hits (6 vs 4), which was pretty awful, given he pitched just five innings (108 pitches, no less). Gave up seven earned runs. He did strike out seven, but that was irrelevant given how horrid the rest of his line was. Someone on Facebook asked “What’s wrong with Darvish?”, and I replied with:
I’m not surprised, to be honest. I figured he’d have issues this first year as things went along. He’s doing about what I expected him to do this year. Now if he’s still doing this in Year 3… :)
Obviously, you like the big name import to do outstanding his first year out, but I figured he’d just be “OK”. I think he’s tired – the heat is probably an issue, and he hasn’t completely figured out how to re-adjust once people adjust to him. He is walking WAY too many overall. At this point, he’s got 134 innings, and 74 walks. Also has 154 strikeouts, which is good, but man, that’s a lot of walks.
Ogando, Ross, & Scheppers followed that mess, and did pretty good. Combined four innings of scoreless ball. Eight strikeouts for those three guys. Joe Nathan also got one, so the Rangers pitching staff was striking them out – a combined 16 strikeouts, a huge number. We don’t usually see numbers like that.
Speaking of Nathan, he certainly made it difficult at the end, as he allowed three earned runs in his inning on two home runs. Nathan’s two were by Albert Pujols and Chris Iannetta.
The Rangers had 17 hits, and with that, you’d think it’d be pretty evenly spread. We had two starters who took ofers in the game. Josh was 0-5, and Beltre was 0-4, but Beltra did at least walk once. A few other oddities. Elvis Andrus went 4-6 and didn’t score a run (drove in 3 though). David Murphy went 3-3 and walked twice. We had four doubles, two home runs, and 11 singles. Not a TON of extra base power, but it was there.
However, the big deal was really the bottom of the 10th. After Joe Nathan put us down in extra innings (giving up three), one would say it was especially annoying as we had tied it up in the bottom of the ninth. However, the Rangers ran all over the Angels bullpen late, plating four in the bottom of the 10th. Cruz got it started with his home run, a solo shot. After a fielding error allowing Michael Young to reach, Murphy walked. There was a pitching change, and then Mike Napoli singled, loading the bases. Mitch Moreland then singled, scoring Michael Young, and the game was finished off with a two run single by Elvis Andrus, scoring David Muphy and Craig Gentry.
Walkoffs are always good. Always good. Nice way to salvage the last game in the series.