What can a person accomplish in 3 hours, 48 minutes?
Run a marathon.
Eat breakfast and lunch.
Fly from Boston to DFW.
Watch 10 episodes of Archer.
Wish to be somewhere else other than a baseball game that lasts 3 hours, 48 minutes, the longest nine-inning game of the season.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 10-8 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in 3 hours, 48 minutes.
1. The best news from Monday came between 5:30 and 6 p.m., the time when the beat writers usually eat dinner. They held off, though, until the Rangers formally announced that Adrian Beltre was coming off the disabled and to find out where Joey Gallo was playing.
It became clear before the game, as the Rangers held onto the lineup card to give Beltre one last chance to have a setback during batting practice, that he would be in the lineup and Gallo would be, too.
Gallo informed the media that he was going to take some flyballs in left field for the first time since spring training. He didn’t say that he was going to take grounders at first base.
That’s where he ended up, as Mike Napoli deals with some back soreness. Gallo promptly looked like a Glove Glove candidate.
Beltre did, too, on a diving stop to end the seventh after all of Tampa Bay’s damage had been done. Beltre was 1 for 5 at the plate, with a first-inning single. He flied out in the in eighth as the potential tying run and also missed chanced to knock in runs in the third and sixth.
(Don’t count on that happening too often, though if it’s going to happen, it could be initially off the DL as he tries to get his timing and rhythm.)
Beltre spoke of Gallo in glowing terms after the game. The sky is the limit for Gallo, who impressed Beltre with all facets of his game and earned the opportunity to stay with the Rangers.
At this point, it’s hard to imagine Gallo going back to Triple A.
It’s also hard to imagine the beat writers holding off on dinner for a second consecutive night.
2. Quick poll: Who should shoulder the blame for the seventh inning?
A) Tony Barnette;
B) Alex Claudio;
C) Martin Perez;
B) Jeff Banister?
A case can be made against each suspect.
Barnette is the obvious choice, as he’s the one who allowed two inherited runners to score to tie the game on his first pitch and then surrendered the three-run homer to Tim Beckham on his third pitch to put the Rangers in a 10-7 hole.
(There was an intentional walk between hits. It happened so fast it’s worth noting that the new automatic four balls don’t factor into pitch counts).
Three pitches, five runs. Fingerprints on the gun, so to speak.
Claudio aided the inning on his very first pitch. Brought in to retire Corey Dickerson in a left-on-left matchup, Claudio’s first Frisbee of the night hit Dickerson. Claudio got the next two hitters, including the righty-hitting Evan Longoria, but Dickerson scored on the double Barnette allowed.
Perez was long gone by the time the Rays rallied, having lasted only five innings and having failed to keep a 4-1 lead. Perez allowed a two-run game-tying homer to Longoria in the fifth with two outs and a 1-2 count.
A starter going short is criminal with this Rangers bullpen, which has to be hell to manage. Yet, that’s Banister’s job, and it’s easy to second-guess him but not necessarily fair.
But if he allowed Claudio to face Longoria with the tying run on base, why not let him face the far-less-potent Rickie Weeks Jr., who was 1 for 3 with two strikeouts. He could have walked Weeks, though that would have put the winning run on base, and let Claudio face Kevin Kiermaier in another lefty-lefty battle.
Kiermaier had struck out in all three of his at-bats.
Banister, though, went to Barnette knowing full well that the Rays would send up Colby Rasmus. Banister said that the Rangers were expecting to see Rasmus and liked Barnette’s breaking stuff against Rasmus better than Claudio against Weeks.
The Rays were ahead two batters later as all the Rangers’ data backfired and the gut prevailed.
The DA has his hands full on this one.
3. The one thing that came from the Beltre return is that, based on one game, it appears Delino DeShields has fallen into a platoon in center field with Jared Hoying.
Hoying had a fine game with two walks and a key steal that would have been the play of the game had the Rangers won.
If he doesn’t take second with one out in the sixth with a runner at third and wipe out the chance at an inning-ending double play, the Rays don’t pull their infield in and Shin-Soo Choo’s chopper might turn into that inning-ending double play instead of a two-run single that a 5-5 tie.
(Was that sentence too long? Probably. Tough.)
But DeShields has shown that he can be a spark plug against right-handers and left-handers (he actually is hitting righties better than lefties). His speed is unmatched on the club and has been a factor in several Rangers wins.
If defense is the deciding factor between Hoying and DeShields, it shouldn’t be. Sub Hoying late in games if the defense is so dramatically different.
If not, consistency at the plate should prevail. DeShields has the edge there.