World Series: Rangers Lead 3-1
MVP Watch: Corey Seager leads by a lot with Merrill Kelly perhaps in the lead if Arizona were to pull it out
|Marcus Semien - 2B||Ketel Marte - 2B|
|Corey Seager - SS||Corbin Carroll - RF|
|Mitch Garver - DH||Gabriel Moreno - C|
|Evan Carter - LF||Christian Walker - 1B|
|Josh Jung - 3B||Tommy Pham - DH|
|Nathaniel Lowe - 1B||Lourdes Gurriel - LF|
|Jonah Heim - C||Alek Thomas - CF|
|Leody Taveras - CF||Emmanuel Rivera - 3B|
|Travis Jankowski - RF||Geraldo Perdomo - SS|
|Andrew Heaney - LHP||Ryne Nelson - RHP|
The top of the first wasn’t as clean as you’d like for a bullpen game, but Mantiply got Semien to groundout after 8 pitches and Seager to fly out on one. Unfortunately Garver worked a 2-out walk to bring Carter up. But he popped out to Thomas in center, so no harm done. Andrew Heaney got the bullpen call for Texas to start tonight. Marte used him to extend THE STREAK to 20 games. Sadly Carroll and Moreno struck out swinging before Marte got thrown out trying to steal second during Walker’s at bat....
Mantiply continued into the second, but gave up a double to Jung before Lowe struck out and Castro took over. Heim grounded out before Castro walked Taveras but ball three was in the dirt and a combo of Moreno’s inability to pick the ball and Jung’s heads up baserunning scored a run (1-0 TX). Jankowski then singled up the middle to put runners on first and second for Semien who tripled both runners home (3-0 TX). Kyle Nelson took over... He offered one pitch to Corey Seager who took him deep to the wall above the pool (5-0 TX). Garver grounded out to end the inning. But damage most assuredly done. Heaney handled Walker, Pham and Thomas with zero issue around a Gurriel single.
Kyle Nelson got Carter to ground out before Jung singled to left. Lowe followed this up with a single of his own. Frias took over and got Garver to ground to Walker who overthought the double play and errored instead to load the based for Taveras who struck out. But Jankowski doubled to right, scoring 2 (7-0 TX). Semien then homered to just out of Gurriel’s reach (10-0 TX). And of course Seager then struck out swinging to end the inning. Marte doubled with two outs in the bottom half. But Carroll was narrowly beaten on a close play to end the inning.
Nelson of the Ryne variety came in at that point. He struck Garver out and got Carter to ground out before becoming the first pitcher tonight to retire Jung. Heaney walked Moreno then Walker doubled down the line to set up the heart of the order. Pham struck out looking, but Gurriel hit a sac fly before Thomas ended the inning with a ground out to second (10-1 TX).
Nelson retired Texas in order for the fifth and sixth. Perdomo managed to walk in the fifth but Rivera, Marte and Carroll all grounded out. Dunning replaced Heaney for the bottom of the sixth. Walker and Pham got on together, but Gurriel ended the threat with a deflating double play.
Nelson and Bradford worked their teams’ seventh inning without issue. Nelson finally looked mortal in the eighth, giving up a solo home run to Jonah Heim (11-1 TX). It didn’t rattle him as he retired the rest of Texas’ lineup. New roster spot recipient Burke (thanks Scherzer!) took over for Texas. He got Marte out, but gave up singles to Carroll, Moreno, and Walker. Stratton took over for the new guy here and Pham hit a sac fly to score Carroll (11-2 TX). Gurriel followed this up with a 3-run homerun to left (11-5 TX). Thomas grounded out to end the inning, but Arizona made the score respectable(ish) again.
Nelson continued to pitch into the ninth. Seager got a ground-rule double to lead off and was replaced with a pinch-runner, but Nelson struck Garver out. This would be his final batter as Saalfrank replaced him. He hit Carter on the first pitch... He then got a double play on his second pitch, ending the inning. Stratton “started” the ninth. But pitching change extraordinaire Pavin Smith was announced as a pinch-hitter, so Bochy changed to Will Smith and then Jordan Lawlar actually took the at bat for Smith. He walked. Then Perdomo singled him to third. Perdomo stole second during Marte and Carroll’s consecutive strike outs. At this point, Texas brought in closer Leclerc to face Moreno. Gabbi wasn’t pleased and hit a 2-RBI single (11-7 TX). Unfortunately Walker popped out to end the game.
RANGERS 11, DIAMONDBACKS 7 FINAL - LOSS
Well. This game deteriorated quickly and brought out all the couch pitching decision second-guessers in the second inning. Mantiply was fine. Castro and Kyle Nelson were NOT. But then Ryne Nelson became the pitching savior, going 5.1 allowing only a home run to Heim (first hit of the World Series).
The offense made the final score look better by the end, but one has to wonder which effect of that will win out tomorrow: the momentum is in Arizona’s bats? Or They used up their juice in a near guaranteed loss and will wilt tomorrow as a result? The Walker Error ended up being the difference here... Horrible but it happens, just unfortunate to have it be here rather than in June.
There isn’t much else to say about this game. It was unpleasant, but exciting for those who didn’t give up after the second or third inning. Outside of the 48,000 there in person, that number wasn’t likely very high.
For my part, this officially concludes my recapping duties for the 2023 Season. It has been an absolute honor once again. Regardless of how this shindig ends, I look forward to an offseason of hyperbolic fantasies and Opening Day 2024! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of a fandom community that is as overall positive (tonight’s early GDT not included), polite and passionate as the SnakePit is! Onward to victory Gentlemen!
We got a blip! WE GOT A BLIP!
I had a few of the truly Negative Nancy early comments to choose from, but as the game went on, Makakilo’s first hand accounts kept coming and reoriented me back into a positive outlook. At one point I was going to choose no comment of the night as I often do when the GDT becomes twitter for a bit. But watching the fans at the game, listening to the announcers laud the atmosphere despite the product being shown, and seeing Mak’s enviable happiness, I had to pick this one. It encapsulates everything that being a fan of miracle sports team should be! He didn’t know those people; but something bigger than themselves brought them together. Cowbells for everyone!
Game 5 will occur at 5pm Arizona Time on Wednesday November 1, 2023 in Phoenix. The (souring?) Milk Man himself, Zac Gallen, will attempt to hold the line against veteran World Series pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. Be there or be a Dodgers fan.