The Texas Rangers and San Franciso Giants squared off in inter-league play. The Rangers faced Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum, who has struggled to get in a groove this season, but very few pitchers have been successful against the Rangers.
The Rangers scored first on an Adrian Beltre RBI double that scored Elvis Andrus, and that ended up being all they needed.
Later, they gained insurance runs from an Ian Kinsler double to left field that scored two, and a Josh Hamilton double to right that extended the Rangers’ lead to five.
The bigger story to come from the game, however, is Alexi Ogando’s groin injury. After laying down a bunt, he injured himself going to first.
Unfortunately for the Rangers and Ogando, he had pitched three perfect innings, and with four no hitters this season, was looking to to make his mark with the fifth.
After the game, he said the injury felt “pretty bad”; with Derek Holland and Neftali Feliz out until around All-Star break, a once deep rotation is starting to look thin.
Luckily, the Rangers have one of the deepest farm systems in baseball, but it would still be nice to have a multiple starters with major league experience waiting in the wings.
The bullpen did its job, allowing only three hits to the Giants all day. Two of the hits were surrendered by Mike Adams, one was given up by winner Robbie Ross. Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth but couldn’t pick up the save, and the Rangers improved to nine over .500, at 35-26.
One of the most interesting performances of the game was on display inning after inning, as the formerly invincible Tim Lincecum struggled and then never really found his groove. While this has no direct impact on the Giants, the development is surprising. Two time Cy Young winners rarely implode, but with sagging fastball velocity and inability to command the baseball, the Giants would be wise to shut him down for the next month or so.
Chris O’Leary predicted, in his analysis of Tim Lincecum, that Lincecum would have elbow and shoulder problems sometime in his career. That was in 2008.
While he’s not always right (Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland both seem to have what he would consider good mechanics) he’s surprisingly accurate; he called Adam Wainwright’s Tommy John almost to the month.
Either way, if the Rangers’ offense can keep rolling like it has, it doesn’t matter if their pitchers throw like Mark Pryor, because they’ll be chalking up the W’s.