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G119: Rangers take this close one, 2-1

This is one of those low scoring games, that because we won the thing, I don’t have to use the phrase “hard luck loss”.  However, I bet if I poked around in the coverage of this game from Toronto’s perspective, I’d probably find that phrase being used for Carlos Villanueva.   The Jays starter went 6.1 innings.  Allowed just four hits, one walk, and only two runs, but both of them coming on a single swing of the bat.  “Hard luck loss” indeed, that one.

The Rangers currently disgruntled (or should I say whiny child) pitcher Roy Oswalt started this one.  It was supposed to be started by Ryan Dempster, but Dempster has some sort of visa issue that I don’t understand, and he can’t enter Canada because of it.  You’d think being a major league pitcher, that wouldn’t ever be a reality.  However, being with the Cubs, he never went there, since the Expos moved to DC some years ago, most NL teams don’t need to think about that.  Now he comes here, and there is a regular opponent who is in Canada.  So in place of Dempster this game, Roy Oswalt started.   Pitched fairly well, too.

Oswalt went only 4.2 innings, giving up just two hits, two walks, and a single run.   I’m not quite sure why Washington pulled him when he did, I didn’t notice anything.  Oswalt came out with just 62 pitches thrown, so it wasn’t that.   I really don’t know why the short exit, although Wash will likely say something like “Just felt like it was the right time”, or “Doing it for the good of the team to win”.   Still, it seemed odd.  Probably won’t help Oswalt’s general mood, in the very least.

The bullpen didn’t allow any runs, although the first reliever was a little wobbly.  Robbie Ross went just 1.1 innings, but allowed three hits. Nobody scored.   Tanner Scheppers too was next out, and cotinued the wobbly (0.1 IP, 2H, 1BB), but didn’t allow any runs.  The remaining three relievers threw a combined 2.2 innings of perfect ball.  No runs, no walks.  So our pitching was strong today, if a bit “varied” in that we used six different pitchers.

The Rangers were pretty much held in check this game offensively.   We had just five hits, and all of them came from just three players.  Adrian Beltre had a single and a double.  Mitch Moreland had a couple of singles.  But Nelson Cruz’ hit was the important one.  He jacked a two run home run in the 5th inning, scoring Beltre, who had just doubled before him.   That was *IT* for our offense.   It was also the end of the scoring for the entire game.  After Cruz’ home run, neither side scored anything else.

The Jays run came on an odd sequence in the bottom of the third.  After an initial ground out, their speedster, Anthony Gose walked.  He then stole second, and went to third on a balk.   The rather hard to pronounce Jays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria singled in Gose for the lone run Toronto got.

Still, it’s much nicer to win 2-1 than to lose 2-1.  17-3 blowouts are fun, but you also have to enjoy the 2-1 wins as well.