Let me start out by saying this has been a day already. I’m teaching two teens how to drive. Why do I bring this up? Because dear reader, I’m not sure how much “filter” I have left today.
We’re back at Globe Life Park which, to me, has been a pitcher’s park so far. Fingers crossed for Lyles on the mound as Trout is in town. The team has me feeling frustrated and I’m sure some of you are too. Odor is in as DH. There’s no Gallo tonight (sore wrist) but we’ve got Tejeda back in the lineup. We are slacking on offense and need to turn things around.
Remember, this isn’t a play-by-play but just the highlights and whatever else crosses my little ole mind.
The Angels’ first batter, Fletcher, hits a single. Y’all know how I feel about omens. This is not a good one. Trout hits a two run homer on his second pitch. We don’t even have an out yet and we’re down two runs. Lyles does strike out Ohtani on a great curve ball. La Stella gets a double that dribbles just under Frazier’s glove and should be an error. Luckily it’s for naught and we move to the bottom of the first.
The Angels have Canning pitching for them. Choo strikes out. Solak earns a four pitch walk. Odor strikes out (can we talk about his .125 average yet or is too soon? Too soon? Okay.) Frazier flies out to center and the inning is over. No offensive spark yet.
Lyles strikes out Castro and the Angels’ coach is out there to bicker about whether that was actually a swing on the last pitch? Loving that Michael Gruber, sound guru for the Rangers, has the fans cheering at high volume. Of course nothing comes of this. What a silly argument. Trust me, after riding shotgun with a new driver going up and down 423 through rush hour in The Colony I gave a better appreciation about what’s important in life. That ain’t it. Lyles walks Upton but we get the next two batters out on a fly and a force at second.
So Castro got thrown out of the game. Hmm. Don’t argue with the Ump and it won’t be a problem.
Calhoun smacks a ball into left field for a double and oh my dog are we gonna hit this inning? Elvis goes after a 3-2 pitch that’s way low and outside for a strike out. IKF hits a nice single to left which advances Calhoun to third. He runs home on a sac fly by Chirinos and then IKF attempts to steal second. It’s under review. He made the jump and had the base but his foot came off the bag while being tagged and the call is overturned. Inning over. I’m somewhat encouraged we did manage a run, though.
We’re back to Trout. It’s his birthday today and he just had his first baby with his wife. I don’t wish him ill but I am awfully happy he struck out on three pitches. Next Lyles strikes out Ohtani. Yeah baby, this is better! STRIKE OUT OF RENDON! Yes. Yes. This is what we need from Lyles.
I need to remember we are only down a run. I think my adrenaline is running high from having to shout out “STOP STOP RED LIGHT STOP” this afternoon.
Tejeda grounds out. Nice walk for Choo and then he steals second. This is also under review. They call him out. What in the world with our guys coming off the bag? Solak earns a walk and now Odor is at the plate. Oh Odor. Another strike out.
End of three, 2-1 Angels.
La Stella flies out to Calhoun in left. Pujols smacks it to left and would have been caught at second but it pops out of Tejeda’s glove. Stassi drops one into left center and Pujols somehow chugs it all the way home. Upton pops up to Choo. Goodwin flies out to Solak and we have three outs, but not before we’ve given up a run.
It’s now 3-1 Angels.
Frazier smacks a single through the shift and we start with a runner on base. Calhoun gets a walk and we have two on with no outs. Andrus flies out to left but the runners can’t advance. An error by La Stella gets IKF to first and everyone else moves up a base. Bases loaded and one out for Chirinos. Woot Canning walks him and sends home a run. Tejeda bounces it to first and the Angels get the force out at home. Two outs and bases still loaded for Choo. Canning tries a pick off at second and the ball goes wildly into center, advancing our runners. Tie game now, people! Canning walks Choo and the bases are loaded again. That’s all for him, Mayers to pitch. Solak quickly gets behind 0-2…1-2… and he gets hit by a pitch sending a runner home and we claim the lead. Here comes Odor again, bases still loaded. It’s 1-2 and Rougie looks mad. 2-2…and he strikes out for the third time. But…
Rangers take the lead 4-3 after 4. This is like riding shotgun not having to hold the “oh crap” ceiling bar on a turn (which I did not experience earlier today).
Fletcher grounds the ball to Tejeda and gets thrown out at first. We’re at another Lyles-Trout matchup. Trout flies out to Choo. Ohtani pops it out to Choo and we make it through the inning with no damage. Lyles isn’t looking too bad, y’all.
Frazier goes down on strikes. Calhoun flies out to Trout. It’s up to Andrus (who should be batting third). Andrus almost hits it out of the park to right but it’s caught at the wall.
IKF grabs a line ball at third in a Superman play and throws out the runner at first. La Stella crawls a ball right out of the infield for a single. Walk to Pujols and there’s two on with one out. Woody comes out and calls for a reliever. It’s Brett Martin time. Stassi flies out to center but La Stella tags and makes it to third. Upton pops the ball to Solak and we’re out of the inning.
Barnes to pitch. IFK hits a nice grounder past La Stella. He again attempts to steal second and is called out, but it sure looks like he’s safe so the Rangers challenge. Overturned, he’s safe! Chirinos strikes out. Tejeda is up and does NOT swing at the first pitch. He’s out on a ground ball but he advances IKF to third. That’s it for Barnes pitching, though, and Milner is in to face Choo. Choo hits it to left field but it’s caught and we are on to the next inning.
Still 4-3 Rangers.
Seventh inning. Martin’s back to pitch and faces Goodwin and strikes him out. Oh no guys, Gibaut is in. I haven’t been very impressed with him but maybe he can prove me wrong tonight. His ERA of 9.00 isn’t encouraging though. It’s a four pitch walk to Fletcher and now it’s time for Trout. Trout hits a single to center and now there are two runners on. Gibaut does get the strikeout of Ohtani. That’s it for Gibaut though (whew) and Woody calls in Hernandez. He walks Rendon and now the bases are loaded for La Stella. Hernandez falls behind 3-1. Perfect strike in the top of the zone, 3-2. C’mon Hernandez….and it’s a pop out to Frazier! I don’t know how we got out of that inning.
Milner’s back. Solak pops one out to right field. And…it’s Odor time again. Tell me again why he’s batting third? He pops up to Rendon. The Angels bring Ramirez to the mound. Frazier needs to pad this lead a bit. Ramirez throws his first two pitches well off the plate. He pitches to a full count though, and before you know it Frazier strikes out and the inning is over.
So we head to the eighth with Hernandez facing Pujols. He strikes Pujols out on a great sliding pitch. He strikes out Stassi on the slider. He strikes out Upton. Love to see Hernandez do so well!
Calhoun at the plate for the bottom of the eighth. He grounds one right up the middle for a single. Heineman in to pinch run. Andrus sends one out to the warning track put it’s caught. Heineman can’t advance. IKF pops out to the outfield and Heineman is still stuck on first…but then he steals second and an error by Stassi gets him to third. C’mon guys we need this run in. Chirinos at bat. He pops it up in the infield and that’s it for the eighth.
Rangers 4-3 after eight.
The Rangers call in Montero to pitch. Goodwin grounds it to first and Frazier beats him out to the base. Montero strikes out Fletcher. And now who is up, but Mike Trout. MONTERO STRIKES TROUT OUT! WE WIN! WE WIN!
Final score, 4-3 Rangers. They prove what I learned earlier today; sometimes, you just gotta hold on.