ANAHEIM, Calif. â€” In tonight’s edition of I Watched This Game Because It Lasted Past Your Bedtime following the Rangers’ 5-2 loss to Los Angeles…
Mike Minor was really good. Until he wasn’t.
Minor carried a one-hitter into the seventh inning Tuesday before coming undone after a couple of close pitches. Kole Calhoun knocked him on his heels with a two-run double and, after manager Chris Woodward left him in the game, pinch hitter Brian Goodwin snuck a single through the middle of the infield to score two more.
“God, he was good today,” Woodward said. “It was really unfortunate the way it ended up. I thought he had a really good game plan, got a ton of weak contact and ground balls.”
And, Woodward said, he thought Minor deserved a called third strike on Justin Upton on a full-count fastball that was either on the border of the inside edge of the plate.
“I thought it was a really good pitch,” Woodward said. “I thought the way he was pitching he deserved that call.”
“I thought I had [struck him out] based on what the zone was tonight,” Minor said. “But I went back and looked at video and it wasn’t in the box, so it was probably a pretty good call.”
Upton and Albert Pujols walked ahead of Calhoun’s double that caught the heart of the plate. Still Woodward stuck with Minor until Goodwin bounced a 1-2 pitch back through the middle to score two more runs. Woodward stuck with Minor over reliever Rafael Montero. It created a lefty-lefty matchup. Goodwin, however, has equal splits against righties and lefties this season.
“I never really saw any dip in his stuff,” Woodward said of sticking with Minor. “I think he was the best guy in every way for that situation. I liked his chances.”
Other stuff you didn’t see:
â€¢ With 29 games remaining in the season â€” likely five or six starts for Minor â€” he has 174 innings and 175 strikeouts. It puts him well within reach of a 200-inning, 200-strikeout season. Only three Rangers have accomplished that since 2000: C.J. Wilson in 2011, Yu Darvish in 2013 and Cole Hamels in 2016.
Minor had 204 1/3 innings and 181 strikeouts with Atlanta in 2013, before injuries forced him to miss two seasons.
â€¢ After going 0 for 3 against Minor, Mike Trout homered to start the eighth against Montero for his 11th home run. It’s a record for any opponent against Texas in a single season. The most homers hit by any player against any single opponent in the last 20 years is 13 by the Yankees Gleyber Torres against Baltimore this year. Wednesday is the last meeting between Rangers and Angels this year.
Trout’s numbers against Texas thus far: A .318/.477/.879/1.356 slash line and 19 RBIs in 18 games.
â€¢ Danny Santana broke from a 1 for 21 stretch with an eighth-inning homer that gives him the Rangers team lead with 23. That’s right. The Rangers will almost certainly go into September with Danny Santana as their leading home run hitter.
â€¢ The Rangers scored their first run on a two-out single by Shin-Soo Choo, which scored Delino DeShields in the third. DeShields’ had singled and gone to second on Kole Calhoun’s fielding error. Why is is this significant? It’s the only run the Rangers have scored on their current road trip that did not come on a home run. They have scored 10 runs in five games – which is an issue of its own – and nine have come off five homers.
â€¢ How bad is it going for Rougned Odor? He absolutely smoked a ball at 110 mph with two on and two out in the sixth only to have Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, shifted to the right side of second base, make a lunging catch.
Odor, who did walk in the fifth, was hitless in three official at-bats and is in an 0 for 24. It is the longest hitless stretch of his career.