Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Each win stranger for Rangers
By ESPN Stats & Information
The Texas Rangers are living a charmed life in the early part of the 2014 season.
They’re 8-7 this season despite being outscored by nine runs, and they’ve already managed a majors-best four walk-off wins, the latest being a bizarre 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
The game lived up to its billing as a great pitcher’s duel between aces Yu Darvish and Felix Hernandez.
The Mariners lost on a combination of mishaps, the first being the inability of Brad Miller to convert a potential forceout for the final out of the game. Miller entered the day with solid defensive numbers -- three defensive runs saved for the season.
The next was a wild pitch by closer Fernando Rodney, who has averaged a wild pitch about every 19 innings for his career. His wild pitch Wednesday allowed the tying run to score.
Leonys Martin then won the game with his third walk-off hit in the past eight months, a bloop single to left field that gave reliever Pedro Figueroa his first big league win.
The Rangers went from having two outs and nobody on, a situation in which their win probability was about 4 percent, to an unlikely victory.
The Rangers continue to win despite not hitting home runs. They entered the day with only seven, which ranked 14th in the American League, and did not add to that total on Wednesday.
For the Mariners, it was another in a long line of wasted starts by their starting pitchers.
Last season, they lost 12 games in which a starter went at least seven innings and allowed one run or fewer (the most in the majors since the 1986 Montreal Expos lost 13). It was their first such defeat in 2014.
Hernandez has now made 17 starts in the last five seasons in which he went at least seven innings and allowed one run or fewer. That’s the most in the majors in that span. Ex-Mariner Cliff Lee kept pace with his 13th on Wednesday for the Philadelphia Phillies, tying him with Jered Weaver for the second-most such starts.
Elias Sports Bureau Stat of the Day
The Rangers are the first team with four walk-off wins by April 16 since the 2000 Kansas City Royals.