This was a fun one, despite the ending. Watching Boyd pitch to Jake Rogers is a treat, and the team seems a bit more relaxed with the trade deadline behind them. Unfortunately they couldn’t find the last bit of offense when they needed it and dropped the first of three with the Rangers in 10 innings.
Things got off to an auspicious start on Saturday night in Arlington. JaCoby Jones led off the game with a double, and rode home shortly thereafter on a missile onto the batter’s eye in center field off the bat of Miguel Cabrera.
The Rangers fought back in the third. Isiah Kiner-Falefa led off the inning with a double and scored on a Jose Trevino single. Boyd was getting squeezed a bit and walked Delino DeShields before dialing things back in and striking out three in a row to escape the jam. Unfortunately, Willie Calhoun mashed the first pitch he saw in the fourth into the right field seats to tie things at two apiece.
The Tigers answered right back in the fifth, with Miguel Cabrera starting things off with a two-out single. Brandon Dixon followed with a double, and a single from Harold Castro sent them both home to reopen a two-run lead.
Apart from the third inning, Boyd and Rogers were working over the Rangers pretty well. Boyd departed with two outs in the five having given up two runs on six hits and a walk, with nine punchouts to his credit. Buck Farmer took over to clean up the sixth, but allowed a pair of runs in the seventh after Travis Demeritte dropped a fly ball along the foul line in right field. The score would remain 4-4 until the bottom of the 11th inning.
First let’s briefly set the stage. With one out in the sixth inning. Matt Boyd drilled Rangers’ infielder and noted pugilist, Rougned Odor, with a fastball in the back. Odor took some exception and had some words as he stalked down the first base line chirping at Boyd, who was bemused and responded by taking a few steps of invitation toward him. Cooler heads prevailed and nothing came of it, though Boyd threw over to first three or four times trying to pick Odor off. However, it was Blaine Hardy who managed the feat. Hardy pitched a scoreless eighth inning, but did walk Odor before picking him off at first.
The Tigers and Rangers each hit a few balls hard, but no one scored in the eighth or ninth. Trevor Rosenthal threw a couple of truly wild pitches, but was conversely pretty sharp otherwise. He did plunk Shin-Soo Choo to lead off the inning, and needed a nice diving play by Gordon Beckham and second to snare a bullet off the bat of Elvis Andrus to end the inning.
The Tigers went quietly in the top of the 10th, and after Nick Ramirez got a pair of quick outs, who stepped to the plate again? Yes, Mr. Odor, of course. I won’t tell you about the check swing call because it will only annoy us further. And this time Odor won out, cracking a solo shot to center field to walk off the Tigers.
…— Miguel Cabrera’s Bat (@Miggysbat) August 4, 2019
4️⃣7️⃣5️⃣ 32. Willie Stargell
4️⃣7️⃣3️⃣ 33. Carlos Delgado
4️⃣7️⃣2️⃣ 34. Miguel Cabrera ★
4️⃣6️⃣8️⃣ 35. Chipper Jones
4️⃣6️⃣5️⃣ 36. Dave Winfield
Odds and ends
-They’re coming few and far between, but Miguel Cabrera will still have nights where he reminds you who he is. This was one of them, as he felt dangerous all night, and his 430-foot shot to center set a tone for several good at-bats.
-Harold Castro continues to contribute. He doesn’t do much damage with the bat, but he’s managed to put the ball in play to come with some key hits this year. He did it again in this one, rolling a two-run single back through the box. Castro also came up with a pair of fine plays on hotshots to third base and smartly let a Delino DeShields bunt attempt pass him by and go foul on a split second judgement call.
-Matt Boyd was very good again. The Rangers managed to ambush him first-pitch on fastballs on a few occasions, particularly Willie Calhoun’s solo shot in the fourth, but Boyd got ahead, and when he did, he put guys away with authority. He and Rogers had some conversations but when Matt hit his target he overpowered the Rangers lineup in pretty impressive fashion.