Jordan Zimmermann labored through his outing, and in so many ways, he is fortunate the Texas Rangers only scored the three runs they did off him in his five innings of work. He worked with men on base in every inning and gave up hard contact all game long. His saving grace was that the ball stayed in the ballpark, an impressive feat against a Rangers lineup that ranks tied for eighth in MLB in ISO (with the Yankees and Diamondbacks).
Zimmermann gave up three singles and a walk in the first inning, yet allowed only two runs to score on a single and a sacrifice fly — even while facing the dangerous Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo in that inning. Zimmermann’s second inning was quicker by comparison; the only base runner was Jeff Mathis, who was originally called out but then safe upon review of an infield hit.
The Rangers tacked on another run in the third. A leadoff single by Elvis Andrus turned into another Rangers run thanks to a Joey Gallo line drive double to the auxiliary scoreboard. Zimmermann then hit a batter and gave up a single that Gallo fortunately did not score on before the end of the inning.
There have been six balls hit off Zimmermann in 2.1 innings with an exit velocity of 100-mph or harder. That doesn't count the foul ball by Joey Gallo that had to have been 110 off the bat.— Chris McCosky (@cmccosky) June 25, 2019
Zimmermann would end up going five full innings but his final line could have been so much worse. As it stands, he gave up nine hits, three runs, one walk, and two strikeouts. He gave way to three straight lefty relievers in Daniel Stumpf, Blaine Hardy, and Nick Ramirez. They combined to allowed two more runs, one coming on a home run into the center field shrubs off the bat of Ronald Guzman.
On the offensive side of things, the Tigers were swinging early, often, and fruitlessly. Rangers starter Jesse Chavez mowed through his 6 1⁄3 innings of work on just 79 pitches, giving up just five hits while striking out nine. The lone damage came in the sixth inning, when JaCoby Jones, Nicholas Castellanos, and Miguel Cabrera strung together three hits to score a run. It was a quiet game outside of that for the Tigers offense, at least until the ninth inning.
Leading 5-1, the Rangers turned to Shelby Miller, owner of an 8.66 ERA in hopes he could close out an easy win. He did not make things easy; after walking Stewart on four straight pitches to start the inning, Miller got two outs before giving up a two-run homer to Ronny Rodriguez, bringing the Tigers within two. That’s as close as they would get, though, as Miller secured the final out on a Bobby Wilson groundout.
Former Tigers draft pick Locke St John — a 32nd round pick in the 2014 draft who was taken by Texas in the minor league portion of the 2017 Rule 5 draft — made his major league debut in the seventh inning.
With tonight’s loss, the Tigers now have just two wins in their last 20 home games. That about sums up this season so far.
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