DALLAS - When I was younger and terrible, I was convinced I was Genre Saavy about real life.
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It was exhausting, then.
It’s what gives me pause, now, about this back-of-the-neck feeling the 2017 Texas Rangers give me; that I’m in the middle of a horror movie season, and that Sam Dyson is just the first of many Rangers players to depart under circumstances we never wanted.
On Friday, Yu Darvish gave the Rangers five innings, allowing seven hits, one walk, and struck out eight. He allowed three runs, all coming in the fifth on a Carlos Correa three-run homer. Dillon Gee mopped up the rest of the four innings of work. He struck out four and walked only one with no earned runs, but four of the unearned variety ended up on his ledger.
Meanwhile, the Rangers managed four hits and one run, thanks to Adrian Beltre, who should be treasured while with us.
On Saturday, Andrew Cashner looked to wobble ever on the precipice of blowing up, but he kept the game on the rails. He was gifted a 1-0 lead to start the game, thanks to an Elvis Andrus single in the first. That lead evaporated in the next frame, as Carlos Beltran tied the game with a solo homer.
In the third, the Astros pushed across four more, and at 5-1, we were all checking rates on late September vacation packages. Then something happened; Ryan Rua walked to lead off the bottom of the fifth, and Jared Hoying’s grounder handcuffed Carlos Correa; with two on and one out, Elvis Andrus laced a double to center, and Beltre followed with a single through the hole.
That ended Lance McCuller’s day and summoned Houston super-reliever Chris Devinski; in what would become a theme, he ended the inning by striking out Rougned Odor and Jonathan Lucroy. This image repeated itself in the seventh.
The score remained 5-4 until the ninth; Jose Altuve lead off with a homer off Keone Kela to make it 6-4 Houston. In the bottom of the ninth, Elvis Andrus walked, stole second, and scored on another Adrian Beltre single to bring the game to 6-5, with the tying run on first (the legs of Beltre replaced by those of Delino DeShields). Down to their final out, guess who was due up.
Rougned Odor. Strike out.
6-5. Ballgame, and with it any hope of a won series.
Martin Perez handled Sunday’s start like a confused father pulling a dish out of the oven with only a tea towel to protect his hand from the heat; in the end, lasagna ended up all over the kitchen and Perez left with a line of 3 2/3 IP, seven hits, six runs (five earned) with three walks and two K’s.
The offense managed two runs off of Astros’ starter Brad Peacock, a fifth inning Roogie solo shot and a Joey Gallo single in the sixth. But the Astros bullpen shut down any further ideas of a comeback, and the sweep was set at 7-2.
The nightmare goes on while the city never sleeps
The Rangers take an off day today and games will resume on Tuesday with a visit from the New York Mets. After a two game series and another day off, the Rangers start a six game road trip that will have them away until the 14th on Friday. The other New York team is 24-31, good for third in the NL East. They’re -29 in Run Differential and have a road record of 10-12.
In Tuesday’s opener, Dillon Gee will face his old teammates, opposite Jacob DeGrom. The 29 year old DeGrom is 4-2 on the year with a 3.97 ERA, but is striking out a career best 12.2 per nine so far this year.
‘How is his ERA fairly average with such a supreme strikeout rate” you may be saying. Well, he’s also walking almost four per nine, and allowing homers at nearly 50% higher than his career average, plus the Mets generally aren’t good at baseball. This will be Gee’s first start in a Texas uniform.
In Wednesday’s mini-finale, we’ll see a prime pitching matchup of Yu Darvish vs Zach Wheeler. This season nearly perfectly matches Wheeler’s career numbers in ERA (3.72 in ‘17 vs 3.54 career), K/9 (8.2 ‘17 vs 8.5), FIP (3.96 vs 3.80), and yep, I’m boring myself here too. This will be a pretty fun game to watch probably in a vacuum.
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