The Houston Astros are 0-8 against the Texas Rangers. I could tell you that five of those eight games have been one-run games. That the Rangers have had abnormally high BABIP and batting average with runners in scoring position against Houston that will come down over the season. That the Rangers have gotten all the breaks and the Astros have had to scrap for every single bit. But that would be ignoring the fact that the season series is still 8-0 in favor of the Rangers.
The Rangers have played better than the Astros all season and last season for that matter too. This fact showed again in Wednesday's 4-3 loss in Arlington at Globe Life Park.
That isn't to say there weren't positive, Dallas Keuchel matched Cole Hamels stride for stride until the Rangers started guessing correctly on first pitches. Carlos Gomez hit another home run and played stellar defense. Jose Altuve was Jose Altuve.
Gomez got the Astros on the board first with a two-out, two strike, two-run home run against Cole Hamels in the second innings.
The Rangers got a run back in the bottom of the inning. Adrian Beltre led off the inning with a single and Keuchel proceed to strike out both Rougned Odor and Prince Fielder. Ryan Rua smacked a two-out double down the left field line that gave flashbacks of Colby Rasmus misplaying the ball off the wall in Monday's game. Beltre scored from first on the play.
The Astros grounded into the first of three double plays in the third inning. But Keuchel induced a double play from Ian Desmond in the bottom of the inning to end the threat.
In the fifth inning, Bobby Wilson smacked the first pitch he saw from Keuchel over the center field wall to tie the game.
Marwin Gonzalez doubled to lead off the seventh inning but the hit was wasted as Jake Marisnick continued to look overmatch by Hamels and grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Rangers' killing blow came in the eighth innings as Ian Desmond, like Wilson, crushed the first pitch he saw from Keuchel over the center field wall. The home run put two runs on the board and the Rangers up 4-2.
I will applaud the Astros, I didn't expect them to put up a fight in the ninth but the team did. Colby Rasmus led off the inning with double and Carlos Gomez walked to put the tieing run on. Luis Valbuena came up with the key hit to score one and put runners on the corners with two outs.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch made an interesting decision to go with Tony Kemp over Jake Marinsick in the ninth and still have him bunt. Kemp failed at the bunt and proceeded to swing at two balls out of the zone to end the at-bat.
George Springer swung through a 97 MPH fastball to end the game.
The game had the tension of a playoff game but also had the devastation of a series-ending loss.