Time flies when you’re not standing around adjusting batting gloves and readjusting batting gloves and adjusting batting helmets, and shuffling your feet, and stepping out of the box to take a practice swing then getting back in the box to take two more then then stepping back out to take six more practice swings, and rubbing dirt on your hands, then on the bat handle, then adjusting the straps on your batting gloves again, right first then left.
The pitch clock has done wonders for making baseball watchable again.
Last night’s game was completed in two hours and two minutes. Games like that used to take three-and-a-half hours. Nothing more happened in the extra hour and thirty minutes, other than standing around waiting for action.
Of course, it helped that the Rangers scored in bunches, three runs on one swing by Josh Jung in the first, their fourth run on another swing by Marcus Semien in the third. It also helped that the Royals didn’t score at all, and that eight of the eighteen half-innings were one-two-three, and seven more featured just four batters. And that the Royals managed just one hit. The Rangers managed just four.
So, it was mostly a revolving door of guys making quick outs.
Jacob deGrom pitched four hitless innings until a sore wrist took him out. Then Dane Dunning came in and accomplished something he had never been able to do in a Rangers uniform. He won a game on the road. Of course, it helped that he entered the game with a four-run lead. But in the past, Dunning would have given up those runs early and often.
In thirteen road starts as a Ranger in 2021, Dunning was 0-7 with a 6.39 ERA. In thirteen road starts in 2022, he was 0-6 with a 5.62 ERA.
Maybe this is further proof that Dunning’s best role is out of the bullpen. This year, he has yet to give up an earned run in six games of relief work.
It took two hours and two minutes for the Rangers to go four games over .500. They haven’t been that far over .500 since 2019.
They’ve waiting a long time for this. Good thing they didn’t have to wait too long last night.