Say what you will about what transpired Sunday at Globe Life Park, but at least it transpired quickly.
The Detroit Tigers finished off the Texas Rangers in a cool 2 hours, 26 minutes, and it was relatively cool outside to boot. Or at least that’s how it looked from the air-conditioned press box.
Rangers hitters looked cooled off, too, for the most part.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 7-0 loss.
1. A.J. Griffin broke through the invisible barrier that had been blocking him at 5 2/3 innings, and he worked all the way into the seventh. That turned out to be an inning too far.
Then again, he could have pitched a complete game and allowed 10 runs and it wouldn’t have mattered. Michael Fulmer wasn’t going to let the Rangers’ offense up for air.
Griffin, who allowed six runs in 6 2/3 innings, continues to be a steady arm in the Rangers’ rotation. They know he’s going to keep them in the game, for the most part, and give them five or six good innings, for the most part.
That’s not unreasonable from a No. 5 starter.
The problem is that Griffin is a No. 3 or No. 4 starter in the Rangers’ rotation, depending on how hot or cool Martin Perez is running. Lucas Harrell is the clear No. 5 starter for at least one more start.
Derek Holland could replace Harrell in the rotation as soon as next weekend, depending on how the Rangers want to use Holland to line up their rotation for the rest of the month and possibly the rest of the season.
The left-hander pitches Monday at Salt Lake City in what could be his final rehab start. If all goes as planned, he will hit 95 pitches and be able to start Saturday or Sunday at Tampa Bay.
The Rangers could use a healthy Holland. When he’s healthy, he’s better than Harrell and Griffin and probably Perez, too. Health, though, hasn’t been Holland’s strength the past three seasons.
As the manager says, let’s wait and see how Holland gets through his next rehab outing.
2. The manager, Jeff Banister, was quick to credit Fulmer, who long ago passed Nomar Mazara as the favorite for American League Rookie of the Year, and Saturday starter Matt Boyd as the reason for the Rangers’ 21-inning funk.
The approach by Rangers hitters has been acceptable, Banister said. Sometimes pitchers are just too good.
The Rangers were put to sleep earlier this month at Baltimore by Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman before rebounding to win six of their next seven games. The offense usually showed up late, but better late than never.
Oakland is coming to town, which isn’t necessarily a good thing for the Rangers. The A’s lead the season series 6-4. Up first for them is Ross Detwiler, who is coming off one of the best performances of his career.
Of course, he’s more apt to pitch as he did last year for the Rangers, which would be a good thing for the Rangers.
Check back on the offense Monday night.
3. The one batter who saw results against Fulmer was Adrian Beltre, who went 2 for 3 against the right-hander and continued a nice hitting streak.
Beltre stretched it to eight straight games and is batting .485 in the stretch after he had cooled to .273. This is the time of year when he started to get going last season, too.
On Aug. 11, 2015, Beltre was batting .257. Over the final 52 games, he posted a .337/.387/.550 slash line to finish at a season-high .287. He drove in 53 runs and hit nine homers during his impressive stretch run.
Beltre is at .289 now, a jump of 16 points since last weekend.
Maybe he’s about duplicate what he did a year ago.
The Rangers sure hope so.