Friday's 3-1 Rangers' loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park was a breeze to cover. The temperature a perfect 73 degrees (and dropped throughout the evening) and it was over in two hours and five minutes.
We salute you, Bartolo Colon and Jordan Zimmermann. Both starting pitchers worked fast and (whatever you think of the offenses involved) carved their way through the other lineups. When they gave ups runs, long, grueling innings weren't necessary. All four runs came courtesy of home runs, including Shin-Soo Choo's lead-off homer on the second pitch of the game.
It's the quickest game of the season for both the Tigers and Rangers. In fact, it's 16 minutes shorter than the next-quickest Rangers' game, a 2:21 affair against the Twins in Minnesota on June 24. It's the fifth Rangers' game played in under 2:30 this season. The Rangers are averaging 3:05 a game this season, which is close to the league average. The Royals and Padres both are averaging a league-low 2:55 per game. The Dodgers and Twins are playing the longest games at 3:12.
We still have 10 more Yankees-Red Sox games remaining in 2018 so that 3:12 will probably be left in the dust if history remains any sort of guide. Have fun with that!
Five thoughts from Friday's
1. Choomendous — Shin-Soo Choo didn't take long to stretch his on-base streak to 45 games. Choo homered on the second pitch of the game to dead center. It was estimated at 436 feet. Choo's streak is the longest in the majors this season and longest since Freddie Freeman's 46-game stretch in 2016. He's one shy of tying Julio Franco's club record for 46 games in 1993. Choo also singled in the ninth and had two of Texas' five hits. Choo is batting .339 with 41 walks during the 45-game stretch.
2. Lead-off homers — It was Choo's 26th career lead-off homer and 14th with the Rangers. He has three in 2018. He's second all-timein club history behind Ian Kinsler's 29 lead-off homers.
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3. World Cup chaos — The clubhouse had the life of a sports bar before Friday's game as a large group of Rangers' players were intently watching the World Cup match between Brazil and Belgium. The final 25 minutes of the game, which included multiple missed shots on goal by Brazil, had the clubhouse erupting in exasperation. Elvis Andrus led the charge with his emphatic sports commentary, which was mostly in Spanish. Most of the clubhouse was pulling for Brazil and were disappointed by the 2-1 loss. The only exception was Jurickson Profar, who was pulling for Belgium. Profar is from the Curacao, a tiny Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela with deep Dutch roots. Belgium is a Dutch-speaking neighbor of The Netherlands.
4. Mazara's mini slump — Nomar Mazara had one of the Rangers' five hits Friday — an infield single in the fourth — but he continues to struggle at the plate as of late. He struck out twice, including with one out and one on in the ninth. Mazara is 1 for his last 17 with one RBI over his past four games. The mini slump follows a stretch when he hit safely in 11 of 12 games and combined for 21 hits and 13 RBIs in 12 games from June 17 to July 1. In that 12-game stretch, Mazara struck out nine times. He has seven strikeouts in the past four games.