Texas Rangers' Joey Gallo bats during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
- Whats better? A stomping like yesterday, where you’re out of it early and there’s little good that comes out of it? Or a game like today, where the team falls behind early, but then does some really good things offensively to get back in it, only to fall just short?
- A rebuilding season makes it easier to say a game like today’s. YMMV.
- I’d like for Dane Dunning to stop giving up so many first inning runs.
- With five runs scoring in the first on Dunning today, he has now allowed 14 runs in the first inning of games, and 11 runs in every other inning.
- Expanding on that, he’s allowed 24 runs in odd numbered innings this year, and 1 in even numbered innings.
- Dunning barely threw his slider — considered his best pitch — today, going with it just 7 times out of 68 pitches. He may just not have felt he had the feel for it today — he went with his cutter and his knuckle curve a total of eight times, so he may have been searching for a breaking ball he felt good about today.
- Anyway, after the bad first inning that featured a Justin Upton lead off home run for the second day in a row, followed by two outs and then a walk-single-single-home run sequence, Dunning got three the next three innings before getting knocked out in the fifth after two batters — a walk and a double.
- Wes Benjamin, brought into the game down 6-1, got a strike out and then went single-double-single before getting the final two outs.
- So yesterday the Rangers were down 9-1 after four innings. Today the Rangers were down
59-1 after five innings. Progress?
- Benjamin went two more innings and faced the minimum over that stretch, allowing just a Shohei Ohtani infield single, with Ohtani then getting erased on a double play. Benjamin also struck out four batters today, so that was good.
- Joely Rodriguez got the bottom of the eighth after a Ranger rally got the team within one, and pitched well, though for naught. Or nought? One of those.
- Anyway. There was not much happening for the Rangers offensively in the early going, other than an Adolis Garcia home run to lead off the fourth. Yeah, I’m gobsmacked Adolis is still doing this, too.
- After the bad bottom of the fifth, Nick Solak led off the sixth with a triple, followed by a Nate Lowe home run, which seemed like it would just be a death rattle. The seventh had a two out rally of sorts, with a Jonah Heim single and a Willie Calhoun walk, but nothing came of that.
- Big noise in the eighth, though. I was actually thinking they might find a way to pull this one out in the eighth.