The Rangers Sweep the Series Against the Astros and Other Things

The Rangers took on the Astros and completed their sweep against a struggling Jordan Lyles.

Texas took care of business Sunday against a struggling pitcher and a hopeless team. Jordan Lyles had done well in his first start against Detroit, and he pitched at least passablyagainst the Angles, but he struggled mightily against the Rangers. Granted, the bookends of the trio are excellent offenses this year, and the Angles have Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton so they can be tough too (kidding about Hamilton). Still, he gave up 11 hits in 4 innings along with eight runs. He also walked three, and that number combined with his hits total gave him a WHIP over 3.

His counterpart for the Rangers, Nick Tepesch, did much better. He threw six innings of one run ball. His replacement, Michael Kirkman, also did well, striking out two in one of his few dominating appearances on the year.

His successor did decidedly worse.

Derek Lowe gave up four runs in total on three hits and a walk. He gave up a three run homer to Chris Carter,  a three-true-outcomes type who has more home runs in the minors than Josh Hamilton has had in the majors. That’s partly because of his legitimate 30 home run power and partly because of his five year gestation period in Oakland’s farm system. Lowe then handed off the ninth to Joeseph Ortiz, who also gave up a multi-run homerun, this time to Brandon Barnes.

Still, an almost-cycle from Adrian Beltre (he fell a triple short) and the aforementioned offensive explosion against Jordan Lyles meant this game was almost in the bag in the third and completely over with in the forth.

Notes:

  • I have no idea why the cycle even matters. Obviously it’s cool and everything, but if it meant anything Aaron Hill would have been last year’s MVP.  Hopefully Beltre gets one, since losing with three extra-base hits is almost impossible. On an entirely unrelated note: if gambling is your thing, Mike Trout is obviously the most likely to get a cycle this season. However, a dark horse candidate has to be Austin Jackson of the Tigers. He has underrated pop and speed. Adam Jones of the Orioles has to be on the list too, but with the methodology I used (good BAA+good power+good speed [none of this should be groudbreaking]), basically any center fielder with power would work. Accept Drew Stubbs, since it’s my understanding that making contact with the baseball is usually a prerequisite for a home run.
  • Not to beat a dead horse, but Brandon Belt has a higher batting average and the same number of home runs as Josh Hamilton. Here are some guys with higher batting averages too: Clint Barmes and Brandon Inge, Pirates; John Mayberry Jr., Phillies; Matt Tuiasosopo*, Tigers; Ryan Rayburn, Indians; Mark DeRosa, Blue Jays. Granted, DeRosa was actually pretty good for a while, but he’s only been good one year since the second half of 2009, so I included him.
  • A great article in ESPN the Magazine mentioned that Josh Hamilton uses a 33 ounce bat. I checked and it’s about two ounces more than average. For some reason, I always thought that bats weighed more like a pound. Apparently, Edd Rousch of the 1910’s used a 48 ounce bat. None of this is important but I found it intersting. (Source)
  • Both the Astros and Rangers face the Tigers in one of their next two trips. The Astros face the Tigers tomorrow, and the Tigers come to Dallas on the sixteenth. The Rangers travel to Oakland tomorrow.

*Tuisasosopo has actually been great for them this year. I just assumed that you have never heard of him.

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