On Friday night, the Rangers started their game against the Seattle Mariners with a first inning run. Delino Deshields continued to excel in the lead off spot as he reached base on an infield single that hit Yovani Gallardo’s foot. Three batters later, Elvis Andrus, the clean-up hitter for the second straight day, hit a ground-rule double that scored Deshields, and the Rangers were off and running.
13 innings and almost 5 hours later, they scored again.
That’s right, 13 innings later—with the score tied at 1—Rougned Odor hit a game winning 2-run home run that gave the Rangers a much-needed win against a Seattle team that is struggling to navigate its way through a myriad of injuries at the moment.
This game had a bit of everything. A solid start from Rangers ace Yu Darvish, great defense from both teams, incredible bullpen performances—and a magic touch in the replay booth, as well.
Pitching: Darvish, Dyson, Barnette, Bush, and Claudio all get the job done
Yu Darvish didn’t have his best stuff on Friday night, but he did exactly what an ace is supposed to do. Coming into this game, the Rangers bullpen was extremely depleted after four long days in Houston—including a 9-walk effort from the relief corps on Thursday afternoon. Darvish needed to go deep into this game, and he was able to.
The line for Darvish included 7 innings pitched, 6 hits, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts, and just 1 run allowed. The one run came on a Robinson Cano home run in the 5th inning; other than that, Darvish was able to get the job done, especially with men on base. The Mariners went 0-12 with runners on base Friday night; that has become somewhat of a staple for Darvish, who typically clamps down with runners on. While it wasn’t perfect, Yu’s performance was exactly what the Rangers needed, especially considering how the game developed.
Sam Dyson was able to get through another scoreless inning for the Rangers on Friday, and, although it wasn’t vintage Dyson, anytime he can put up a zero, it’s a win. Dyson did put two runners on with one out but was able to get a line out and a fielder’s choice to end his night on a high note.
Tony Barnette found his good stuff Friday night, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Barnette had been struggling lately and came into the game with an ERA over 7. After being called on to handle the 9th inning, Barnette came back out for the 10th and 11th innings on a night in which the Rangers bullpen was just three deep. The most impressive inning of the night for Barnette came in the bottom of the 10th, when he gave up a leadoff double to Jean Segura before maneuvering his way through the heart of the Mariners order to keep give the Rangers yet another chance. Barnette was simply incredible for the Rangers Friday, with his longest outing as a Ranger that, indeed, saved the game.
Of particular note was the fact that Claudio, two days after his first career start, earned his first career save.
Defense: Elvis and Rougie put on a show
Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor both turned in fantastic defensive plays on Friday night, and turned two spectacular double plays.
For Elvis, it was a diving stop behind second base and an off-balance throw to first that helped quell a Mariners rally early in the game. Rougie then made a great diving catch of a Kyle Seager line drive in the bottom of the 4th inning.
When they weren’t making incredible individual plays, they were turning double plays that were as textbook as they could be. The last double play ended the game—and took a perfect flip and a perfect throw from Andrus to retire Guillermo Heredia by a toe.
Replay magic: There were four replays on Friday night, three of which were initiated by the Rangers. All three of them went the Rangers way.
Turning things around: The Rangers bullpen walked 9 batters in 4 innings of work on Thursday afternoon. In 5 innings of work on Friday, they walked just 3.
Strikeout Record: The Rangers set a team record for futility with their 6th straight game with 10+ strikeouts. The good news is that it took them 13 innings to hit that mark.
6th times the charm: Rougned Odor was 0-5 when he stepped to the plate in the top of the 13th inning and hit the game-winning home run. It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish.
The Rangers will face off against the Mariners again Saturday evening at 8:10 pm. Martin Perez will match up against Chase de Jong in a game that sets up very favorable for the good guys.