You pretty much cannot find a game that sums up the 2016 Texas Rangers team any more perfectly than last night’s.
Great starting pitching. But the moment a runner reached base in the seventh, the starter is pulled.
Sparkling defense. One play in particular by Moreland and one by Andrus.
Offense aplenty. But only for the first three innings, which isn’t typical.
The requisite boneheaded base running play.
It was shaping up to be a typical Texas game in Houston, where the Rangers average three-and-a-half runs a game and the Astros average two-and-a-half, and the Rangers would win, having won five of six in Houston before this trip, and thirteen of sixteen overall.
But, since this is the 2016 Texas Rangers, it has to be a one-run victory.
So, in customary fashion, the Rangers bullpen came in with a 3-1 lead and went to work giving away the lead. Bush gave up the second run in the seventh. Dyson gave up the third run in the ninth.
And just like that, it’s another blown save and an extra inning game. Which, this being the 2016 Rangers, they won by one run, 4-3, thanks to Odor’s thirty-first homer.
It was a typical Texas Rangers game. Especially against Houston.
The good news is, come playoff time, it’s a whole new ballgame. And a team rarely needs its bullpen in the post-season.
A. J. Griffin (7-4, 4.92) vs. Brad Peacock (0-0, 3.38)
Game time: 7:10
How the Rangers hit against Peacock.
How the Astros hit against Griffin.
RANGERS MAGIC NUMBER: 9 GAMES.