The Texas Rangers have now played 10 games against the Anaheim Angels this season and have won six of them. At the end of the season, the Rangers might look back at those 10 games and think they should have done better.
These Angels, injury ravaged and usually offensively inept, aren’t very good right now. They were at the end of a long stretch of 16 games in 16 days, and their bullpen was running on fumes. The Rangers won twice in the three-game series, losing the opener 2-0.
But the Angels haven’t been very good all season. They have a chance to get better, as all teams do, and they have some injured players who will come back. Then, there’s Tim Lincecum, who might not be great but might be better than some of the arms the Angels are trotting out now.
Hector Santiago is one of their good ones, supposedly. He wasn’t very good Wednesday. Come to think of it, the day’s pitching star was Tony Barnette, who saved the day in the sixth inning for the Rangers.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 15-9 victory.
1. Let the debate rage on over the distance of Nomar Mazara’s second-inning homer, which is being touted by MLB, as measured by its fancy high-tech Statcast, as the longest homer of the season and the longest homer in the history of Globe Life Park at 491 feet.
The Rangers can’t verify how far it went, with their decades-old surveyor’s guide to homer distances saying 442 feet, and they aren’t going to recognize the Statcast distance. The Rangers used the guide until going with Statcast this season.
They appear to have cold feet.
Either way, it’s been a pretty crappy week for Josh Hamilton, whose 490-foot homer in 2010 is now under assault two days after he decided to have season-ending knee surgery.
Statcast uses trajectories, angles and velocity readings to determine the projected distance a homer would travel if not for manmade objects or man himself interrupting with a ball’s flight. The exit velocity was 108 mph.
491 Feet traveled by the ball Nomar Mazara hit for a home run, as measured by MLB’s Statcast, for the longest homer in Globe Life Park history and the longest in the majors this season
I remember taking physics in high school and managing a B. As was the case in any science class I took, I had good lab partners. They might be able to argue the distance, but not me.
My eyes tell me that the home run was not 70 feet longer than the 422-footer Mazara hit Tuesday to a similar part of the upper deck of home run porch, though a section more toward center and 10 rows higher.
My eyes, though, can’t track exit velocity or trajectory. Just like Ivan Drago, I’m not a machine.
2. Colby Lewis either didn’t have it Wednesday or the Angels once again had his number. His career ERA against them now is a robust 6.25. Maybe it was a bit of both.
The six runs he allowed in five-plus innings shouldn’t detract from the season he has had to date. I volunteered to do a segment the other day on a fantasy baseball radio show, and one of hosts pounced on Lewis’ start being a fluke.
My reply: Lewis won’t be a sub-3.00 ERA guy as he was entering his start Wednesday, but he’s healthy and in shape and his pitches are sharper and command is better than it has been the past few seasons.
Colby Lewis had pitched seven innings in five consecutive starts before pitching only five innings Wednesday. It was his shortest outing of the season.
He has been running neck-and-neck with the other starter in a rotation that has been among the best in league. Lewis was signed to be the No. 5 starter once Yu Darvish returned. Darvish is returning Saturday, and if Lewis is the No. 5 starter, the Rangers are in pretty good shape.
For those who hate the win, Lewis improved to 4-0 and his ERA jumped from 2.74 to 3.38. Barnette won the game, though, by getting the Rangers out of the sixth with a 7-6 lead despite entering with the bases loaded and no outs.
Once again Lewis is on a one-year contract and can be a free agent at the end of the season. At some point the Rangers will have to cut the cord and part ways with the beloved Lewis. But if he continues to have a more-than-serviceable season, I’m not sure 2016 will be the time to move on even with Chi Chi Gonzalez and Nick Martinez in Triple A.
3. At some point Thursday second baseman Rougned Odor will learn how much of the eight-game suspension he will have to serve for popping Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista 10 days ago.
Odor is mired in a slump, so maybe the time off will help him recharge his mind after nearly a week and a half of unwanted attention and uncertainty. MLB has heard his appeal, but it’s hard to imagine the sentence getting reduced more than three games. Even a three-game shave is hard to imagine.
What the Rangers will do remains shrouded in secrecy, though the most likely plan has been made pretty obvious. Jurickson Profar could come up to play out Odor’s ban, with Joey Gallo a candidate to return to Triple A.
It’s still a possibility that the Rangers don’t make a move and stick with Hanser Alberto and Ryan Rua covering second base in some capacity. While the defense doesn’t take a hit, the offense does with Alberto and Jared Hoying playing every day.
As for the length, I’ll guess that MLB takes two games off and Odor misses six games.
Everyone should know by dinnertime Thursday.
Enjoy the off day.