The Rangers lost yesterday. But only the game. Fortunately, they didn’t lose Jon Gray.
It’s always scary when a pitcher gets hit with a line drive. It’s actually surprising it doesn’t happen more often. Right after he releases his pitch, he’s about fifty feet from the batter, awkwardly positioned, and mostly defenseless.
In the bottom of the third, Gray was struck in the pitching arm, right below the elbow, by a line drive hit 109 miles-per-hour off the bat of Astros catcher Yainer Diaz.
A huge, bruised knot immediately popped up on his arm, the kind that looks painful. He tried throwing a few more warm up pitches but calmer heads prevailed and took him out of the game.
Losing a game wouldn’t be nearly as disastrous as losing Gray for any extended period of time. Gray was cruising through his first two innings, allowing only a second-inning walk. Once he left the game, the Rangers bullpen, which has for the most part been reliable, fell apart.
Cole Ragans, who had been spectacular out of the bullpen, couldn’t pinpoint his control and ended up giving up a game-tying double to Yordan Alverez later in the third, then gave up the go-ahead run in the fourth. Then Ian Kennedy and Josh Sborz, who’s out of options and out of reasons to be on the Rangers, came in and put the game out of reach by giving the Astros five more runs.
In the end, the Rangers lost 8-2. But they didn’t lose Jon Gray, who is expected to make his next start.
So, at least there’s that.