So close. 147 comments


Hunter Pence was so close to immortal status but Astros outfield Josh Reddick robbed him of it.

 

They always say baseball is a game of inches. Ask Hunter Pence about the ball he hit last night in the ninth. He’d say it’s more like a game of a quarter of an inch.

That’s how close he came to hitting his second home run of the game, and his second game-changing home run in two games.

After hitting a pinch-hit grand slam Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh, he came up in the ninth inning of last night’s game against Houston’s dominating closer Roberto Osuna, who uncharacteristically allowed the first two to reach in the ninth clinging to a 4-2 lead.

Hunter Pence came so close to turning it around. He did what every Rangers fan wanted him to do. He hit it over the fence in right field. It just so happened that Josh Reddick’s glove got there as the ball did and he turned the game-defining home run into a gut-punching out.

That’s truly what baseball is. Not a game of inches. A game that punches you in the gut. Night after night.

And still we come back for more.

*****
TODAY’S GAME:

Lance Lynn (4-2, 5.75) vs. Justin Verlander (5-1, 2.86)
Game time: 7:10

  • Nate Whitten

    It would have been too good to have been true. Not allowed. A guy like Pence doing it two straight games…and doing it all in Houston. Heck, the Rangers’ ‘pen would have blown the save in B 9th anyway. With Kelley gone, not much ‘pen left. This is depressing. I was already depressed. I did not need this.

    • RR3

      Don’t be depressed, Nate. Remember, this was a throw-away season. Don’t let it get to you. Expect them to lose every game and when they don’t, it’s a gift.

      • Mr.C

        Against Verlander (in Houston) it’s easy to expect a loss tonight.

        • vegasRANGER

          Total 8 1/2 UNDER….already on the OVER

          • JacobMcCandles

            More reflective on Stros ability vs Lynn….not TX on Verlander

        • GoRangers23

          Haven’t we beat Verlander quite a few times in the past?

          • Mr.C

            No sure Go. Maybe once in our lifetime.

            The past is not as significant to me as his present. Let’s face it, Verlander is GOOOOD

      • elkaba

        That’s my mantra this year alright, the reason for the season. We are figuring out what we have that’s worth keeping, and conversely, what’s best being discarded.

        • RR3

          What worries me, elk, is will they do the right thing? Will they discard those that should be or will they hang on to them?

          • WhoKnowscs

            That’s the problem, they’ve already given the money to the ones they need to discard.

          • WhoKnowscs

            or at least not keep around now.

          • elkaba

            Well we can never find out unless they let these guys fail. If they keep saving them, protecting them, pulling them when they get in trouble, they not only obscure failure, but they keep it from becoming apparent. That’s why I’m happy to see someone like Leclerc put to the test. Pass or fail, we need to know. JD needs to know, so he can take appropriate action to replace the parts that don’t work and fill all the holes. We start every season it seems with this pie-in-the-sky over selling of what we have. If we’re ever going to make it to the WS again, we need a fully functioning team with all the appropriate parts, not just some more hedging our bets and wishful thinking about the players on the team. Put them all under the microscope! This is the year for it.

          • elkaba

            And to answer your question, Kevin, if JD doesn’t do the right thing after this year, he needs to be gone. We will never have a GM who doesn’t make mistakes. But we need a GM who can admit a mistake and fix it. Like GT500 says above, we pay good money to see this team play. We need a team worthy of that, not a team built to make JD look better or make his job easier.

        • JacobMcCandles

          Those mantras are ugly fish

  • GoRangers23

    Well, kudos to Josh Reddick because that was quite a fantastic catch. Sometimes it works out in our favor and sometimes it doesn’t. There’s no reason why we can’t win over Verlander tonight. Baseball is crazy and can always go either way, and that is why we keep coming back. I say, GO RANGERS!!!

    • JacobMcCandles

      Not only a good attitude but 100% right

  • JacobMcCandles

    Yeah that game was tough…and the catch was super…..but look how close TX got. More important did not give up….win and get back to .500

  • WhoKnowscs

    I’m not expecting it(it really sounds too good to be true), but wouldn’t it be awesome if the Rangers sealed a win with Pence robbing Reddick of a walk off homer?

    • GoRangers23

      That’s what I would call FANTASTIC!

    • Rowdy Yates

      I don’t want tonight game to be close enuf that Pence has to rob anybody to save the game.

      • WhoKnowscs

        Yeah, it’d be nice to win every game by 10+. But as unrealistic as it is to get that every game it’s just as unrealistic to imagine a tit for tat game winning play between Reddick and Pence. Still an awesome fantasy to have.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Interesting stat the with Odor’s homers, before every homer he’s made this year, the previous time he reached base(though it didn’t necessarily come in the previous plate appearance or even game) did not come via a hit.

    He reached based via an error then hit his first homer his next AB.
    He walked his last plate appearance in a game, didn’t reach base the next game, then homered in his first AB in the game after that.
    And he walked then homered his next AB vs the Pirates.

  • Tony Howell

    Great game last night with a fantastic catch in the 9th. But this game was thrown away by the Rangers in the bottom of the 8th by leclerc loading the bases and walking in a run putting the Astros up by 2 instead of one. Going to the 9th down by 2 instead of 1 makes this a completely different game. Pence LONG out would have easily let Choo tag and tie the game. I know Choo didn’t tag and score but in a 1 run game he plays that completely different. Maybe we still lose but maybe we win never know. I have liked Woody so far this season but putting in leclerc in a 1run game was a terrible decision.

    • elkaba

      Well technically I think it was a two run game until Leclerc walked in a run. Other than that, yeah, in hindsight it was a mistake. Could have worked out differently though even with Leclerc’s struggling.

      But overall I keep going back to my mantra that this is the year where the most important thing is figuring out who we can count on and who we can’t. Leclerc had made strides toward getting back on track, so I guess they thought it was important to let him sink or swim.

      In the final analysis, does it really matter at this point if we are one game above or below .500?

      • GT500

        It only matters if you prefer the team you support and pay good money to see play is above .500 instead of below…….

        • elkaba

          LOL, it always matters. But one game above or below .500 in May? … not so much. Both are equally lousy!

      • Tony Howell

        This season is a throw away to determine if 3 or 4 guys can pitch. If they can’t guess what we get to throw away next season trying to find 3 or 4 more pitchers. It could take years to find the right combination when all you have to choose from are a few young guys and a lot bargain basement rejects.

  • JacobMcCandles

    BP decisions are the most highly scrutinized for fans. Couple of useless opinions on my part. Mgrs don’t get the ability for second guessing..We do. Ask yourself if not Leclerc then who? We went into the season erecting Leclerc statues. He was struggling but looked to have a good chance of working out of it.

    If a player is on the team he has to be used. I would challenge anyone to look in the mirror and say they would’ve went with a diff reliever. Only about a doz guys out of BPs that were can’t miss………..and they screwed the pooch in their careers. Lidge who saved like 40 games for the Phils was let go by the Stros for failing. Mariano Rivera gave up the winning run in game 7 of a WS. Dennis Eckersley HOF gave up the famous Gibson HR. List is tremendous.

    BB is built on failure and humbling.Don’t expect to have this make anyone feel better….just a reminder of the foundation of this great sport and you never know when you are one strike away.

    • elkaba

      Yeah, a loss like last night’s stings badly for fans. But with one guy out sick and not a lot of rock stars left in the pen, what are you going to do? Leclerc’s there. You have to use him. And once you pick him, you have to let him play it out. It’s only in hindsight that we see how it could have gone if Woody had pulled him one batter earlier. But think about that. If he loads the bases and gets pulled before being allowed to try and get the last out, we’d be screaming about not giving him a chance to clean up his own mess, loading another pitcher down with his mistakes and wearing out the pen unnecessarily, just like Banister. It’s a can’t win scenario… unless whatever they do works out.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Yes Mam. And a bigger pill to swallow I guess is…..for me a great sign of light….the team is doing far better than anyone thought

        • elkaba

          And that, I think, is squarely down to the new manager and coaching staff. This is becoming a winning culture already.

          • JacobMcCandles

            I agree 1000%…why nothing Woody has done bothers me. He could kick a little arse on base running but Rome wasn’t built or the Rangers in a day

          • Rowdy Yates

            Agree. And we don’t know whether he’s kicking “a little arse” or not and whether he delegates that to the coaching staff. Hovering a game within .500 20%+ into the season is several wins more than I expected at this point. But do think the road will get tougher rather than easier as injuries will happen and there isn’t a full cupboard of phenoms at AAA or AA to give tryouts at the MLB level in an emergency.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Exactly…..why he plays the cards he has….Bill Parcells said I don’t buy the groceries

      • isittime

        Woody’s been good and one of the things I like about him is doesn’t let moves that need to be made linger too long. That was frusterating with Wash and to some extent Banny. He gave Leclerc a chance at closer, he struggles and woody got him out of that role. He moved Rugie from the 2 spot before the All Star break. I don’t know how much influence he had with sending DD down to keep and extra arm in the pen and not have to lose better bats like Forsyth and Santana that are out of options, but that seems wise (tho I cringed watching Gallo go back on that fly ball in center, do miss DD there). IMO he’s made the subtle moves to best give the Rangers a chance. He’ll continue to have to run Leclerc ( as well as the others) out there, but it might be in different situations until he shows he has his command issues under control. We’ll see.

    • Tony Howell

      Myself I would have run Jurado back out and try to tie in the 9th then made the decision on whose going to pitch the bottom. Leclerc is not ready for a pressure situation maybe in 3 or 4 weeks he will be. Ok Jake I know you’re an Astros fan you got to Amit the Astros players eyes lit up when they seen Leclerc come in.

      • JacobMcCandles

        I do like the Astros. But Rangers are closest to home….i certainly respect their org and front office a ton more….but I think you missed my point. We got 3 hits….hard to have expectations on winning. Or blaming it on the Umps which was silly.

        The fact is they are just better

    • Mr.C

      Preach !

  • WhoKnowscs

    There was a moment yesterday where I knew Leclerc was toast. It was the moment he showed visible frustration because he gave up a lead off walf.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Apply for the job

  • TD30
    • JacobMcCandles

      You can stamp this lineup going forward…only thought is moving Pence to the 3 hole and drop Gallo down a slot

      • WhoKnowscs

        They will keep switching Gallo and Mazara but yeah it’ll pretty much stay this way with the Catcher alternating.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Do we really need to spend an entire season to see what we have? And for that matter are you getting what you expect so far from the “see what we have” crowd(which seems to only be about a third of the roster)? I’m am tired of watching us bench a .300 hitter because Odor has shown very brief moments of being great.

    • elkaba

      No. It shouldn’t take a whole season to figure it out. And playing Odor over a .300 hitter isn’t a good sign that the ball club is doing what JD said they would do this season.

      • JacobMcCandles

        But that is part of the experiment……see what you have in Odor

        • elkaba

          How long would you give him? And where would you put him in the line up?

          • JacobMcCandles

            6th or 7th

        • azrangerfan

          I think we’ve seen about 3 seasons of Odor. Mayby we’ll know for sure after 3 more seasons.

          • WhoKnowscs

            He’ll have a good last season, right before free agency/club option right?

        • WhoKnowscs

          May as well complain, he homers, quiets everyone for a game, and then goes back to not hitting.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Never quiets you😃

        • calntom

          See what you have???? The guy is going to be here, year in and year out regardless of what he might show or have. Ain’t going anywhere.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Just want all of yall to remember these posts!!

  • Tony Howell

    Geo Gonzalez pitched 5 innings to day gave up 0 runs. Has started two games for the brew crew and given up 1 run total. Rangers sure could have used him oh well you snooze you lose.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Last post from me on last night’s game…..instead of pursuance of blame….Woody,Umps or crying about the catch…..one play that bothered me most was with two strikes,two outs in the 9th .Gallo watched a fast ball down the middle of the plate

    • elkaba

      LOL. Last word from ME on last night’s game… I’m never comfortable with analyzing any kind of sports game based on the last plays played. Any moment in any inning can change the outcome and make or break a win. It’s like blaming a loss on a kicker who misses a field goal on the final play of the game. You had 4 whole quarters to win it and you blame the kicker on the last play? I don’t buy it. One swing, one at bat, one play, one anything counts the same as all of them. Joey wiffed but had already guessed wrong twice in the AB. I think he was just turned around and flummoxed there by the end.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Well thats my point..less eloquent🙃can never judge a play on one situation or player….its like blaming Nellie for the 2011 WS game

        • MikeH

          Sorry, I still blame Nellie for the WS loss.

  • azrangerfan

    Bottom line the Astros are a much better team than the Rangers. The Rangers don’t have an everyday player that could crack the Stros lineup, with exception of maybe Gallo in place of Reddick. Good teams make their own breaks and take advantage of opportunities. My guess is in a ten game series the Stros would win 7 of the 10 games. Good prevails over average.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Yessir

    • RR3

      You are one hundred percent right. The talent gap is enourmos.

  • JacobMcCandles

    I know everyone is enamored with Hunter….and rightfully so….thought I would share….at 36 yrs of age and a WS ring….HP saw a hitting instructor and then played 2 months in the DR…..changed his running techniques…..thats “For the love of the game”

    • WhoKnowscs

      Did they hire the instructor?

      • JacobMcCandles

        Did it on his own

    • LoboTX

      I’d read about his time in the DR and work he’d done to “re-invent” himself and stay in shape. As you said, “For the love of the game”. Gotta love that. The kids can learn from this guy.

      • Rowdy Yates

        I’d read during ST he did it long before ST ever started in effort to rejigger his whole hitting approach.

  • Rowdy Yates

    Somebody needs to shave Verlander’s neck. That rug looks like it runs all the way down his back. 1st time I’ve wished we didn’t have the new big screen hi-def TV.

  • calntom

    Tyler Phillips promoted to AA. Cole Winn will start for Hickory late next week in his pro debut.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Well, I don’t like to see players injured, but I’m glad Altuve is out of the game.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Strike 3 was wicked….on the drive home Nadel said TX got some good Ump calls……so can we table the Ranger/Ump conspiracy for a couple of inning at least…..LOL

  • calntom

    Looks like Miller gets another go Tuesday

    • JacobMcCandles

      High life

      • calntom

        I can’t even remember how that tasted. Might be a good thing….

        • JacobMcCandles

          Not good but better than Natty lites

    • WhoKnowscs

      in other words we don’t have anyone else.

      • calntom

        Ahhh , no kidding

  • Rowdy Yates

    Astros putting on defensive clinic the last to nights.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Wonder if Elvis has a Correa jersey

  • JacobMcCandles

    Just 1 run but this feels like we should be calling Noah

  • JacobMcCandles

    Was thinking about going to Kaboo tomorrow….see Collective Soul, Kid Rock and Lynrd Skynrd……but don’t want to mess with the weather

  • calntom

    Palumbo, 54 pitches thru 4 with 8K’s for Frisco

  • JacobMcCandles

    Thanks Ump

  • JacobMcCandles

    Gallo can’t pull the trigger lately

  • JacobMcCandles

    TX getting the calls behind the plate….gotta make it work!!

  • JacobMcCandles

    Wow that was a strike…love ya blue

  • WhoKnowscs

    Based on gameday, Rouggie swung at ball 4

    • possumrld

      Nadel said it was very much a ball.

    • Mr.C

      Still chasing that high fastball

  • Mr.C

    Houston needs to win tonight.

    • WhoKnowscs

      Reverse Psychology?

      • Mr.C

        They are playing Golden State in a win or go home game tonight.

        • WhoKnowscs

          Oh that other sport.

  • Mr.C

    1st hit tonight

    • WhoKnowscs

      Could have used that after Mazara.

  • WhoKnowscs

    It’s a good thing the top of the lineup knows how to take pitches and make the pitcher work we’d never get rid of Verlander with these 1-4 pitch ABs.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Lynn is pitching a good game

  • calntom

    Both pitchers at 81 pitches

    • WhoKnowscs

      It be nice if i was tied though, hope that comes now.

  • Mr.C

    That was a strike

  • JacobMcCandles

    Boy that was a strike too can’t waste these Ump calls

  • Mr.C

    Karma

    • JacobMcCandles

      Instant

  • JacobMcCandles

    Damn…..I refuse to eat crow re:on Roogie…….but I’m going to pull the crow out of the freezer

  • JacobMcCandles

    Great game by Lynn

  • Mr.C

    Ouch

  • JacobMcCandles

    Way this game is going…….could seal the deal

    • Mr.C

      Maybe it’s time for Presley to have a bad inning.

  • Rowdy Yates

    Woody’s gonna still be in learning mode most of the season on this team. But he should learn that a guy who throws over 50% fast balls to good MLB hitters like the Astros is not gonna do well about the 3rd time thru the lineup.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Ooops didn’t ask quickly enough

  • JacobMcCandles

    Asking nicely…please no Woody BP decisions commentary

    • possumrld

      It probably won’t matter tonight anyway

      • JacobMcCandles

        Yeah Poss…sooner or later the player has to perform

        • possumrld

          We are simply getting outplayed tonight, and it was the same last night, but with a closer score.
          I know you aren’t like the Woody BP comments, but lasts nights fiasco with LeClerk looms very large about now.

    • WhoKnowscs

      What difference will bullpen decisions make unless the Rangers start scoring.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Now you are talking…same as last night

        • possumrld

          Not the same at all

          • JacobMcCandles

            3 hits last night Poss

  • Mr.C

    Still a Quality start for Lynn

  • possumrld

    Nadel says, the Astros outfield turn hits into outs, and basically the Rangers don’t even turn outs into outs.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Pressley is harder than V….hasn’t given up a run this year

  • WhoKnowscs

    The Mariners are now below .500.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Rowdy is spot on Astros defense are on a defensive clinic…..very balanced team.

  • JacobMcCandles
  • possumrld

    Nadel was commenting on how the Rangers have been getting shafted on ball strike calls, and as a patient team not getting the “respect…” And last night Woody was commenting to Nadel, and then he said they needed to change the subject before he got himself in trouble.
    But I say, let’s do the electronic strike zone, and end this senescence. The ESZ would not be perfect . but at least it would be impartial, and a lot more consistent than these fickled umpire are.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Think they will talk about all the calls they got tonight?? LOL

      • possumrld

        Either way,m it is pure none sense.

  • possumrld

    Can’t catch a break

  • JacobMcCandles

    Deja Vu Reddick catch…suspect Choo running

  • isittime

    What could have been if we had JR to play RF off the bench in 2011. He seams to have no problem negotiating the wall.

  • possumrld

    Does anyone think Mazara would actually do anything, even if Pence got on base?

    • WhoKnowscs

      No.

    • WhoKnowscs

      And even if Pence and Mazara had got on base then comes Odor.

      • possumrld

        Yeah, game over.

        • WhoKnowscs

          Yep, he’d be over eager and smack an easy fly ball to catch.

          • possumrld

            Or swing at ball four up at the bill of his cap, and foot outside.

  • Rowdy Yates

    Hard to win games with only 2 hits.

    • possumrld

      And 2 runs over 2 games.

    • JacobMcCandles

      5 hits in two games

  • JacobMcCandles

    Another strike 3 to end the end of the game with no swing…..GOOD GRIEF

    • possumrld

      They had better swing, because this ump must be on the Astros payroll.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Poss…I know its frustrating but we got a ton more calls tonight

        • possumrld

          Perhaps so. But it needs to be consistent, and impartial, and it sin’t even close to being so as it is now.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Blue Bloods final episode tonight… : ( Later

  • possumrld

    We have been complaining about Roogie, but the whole Rangers team except for Pence, seems to be in an offensive funk of late

  • Rowdy Yates

    Mac babbling nonsense again in post game show. Oh well, another game tomorrow. Adios!

  • elkaba

    Wasn’t near a computer for the game… now I’m glad I wasn’t. Bummer.