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World Series Roundup: Texas pushes Arizona to the brink with two big innings

The Rangers stand one win away from glory

World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Four Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Diamondbacks were always going to be in tough in Game 4, going with a bullpen game given their lack of starting pitching depth. The Rangers don’t have the deepest staff in the game themselves, but a deeper, more powerful lineup meant the combination of Arizona relief arms was smacked around like a heavy bag after Lennox Lewis missed a phone payment. Ten Rangers crossed the plate before the end of the third inning, and it was mostly academic from there, save an aborted comeback attempt against the Rangers’ bullpen.

World Series Game 4

Texas Rangers 11, Arizona Diamondbacks 7

(Rangers lead series 3-1)

To Joe Mantiply’s credit, he was only responsible for one of the runs on the night. Mantiply worked a clean first inning before Josh Jung led off the second with a double, and an out later Joe was out of the game, replaced by our old friend (?) Miguel Castro. Castro recorded an out before spiking a ball and allowing Jung to come in and open the scoring.

The inning went from bad to worse after a walk and a single, with leadoff man Marcus Semien at the dish:

3-0 Rangers, and the day was over for Castro. In came Kyle Nelson, due to face Corey Seager.

Did you know Corey Seager was available on the free agent market? Any team could have signed him if they had just put up the cash, they would have netted themselves a left-handed, power hitting shortstop who’s put up 10.5 wins in the last two seasons, while being extraordinarily handsome. All it would have taken was money.

Anyway, I’m sure very few teams in the game could have used a left-handed hitting shortstop with power who wasn’t even 30 at the time he hit free agency. Really just soooooo limited, the number of appropriate landing spots for a guy like that. Really just the only fit was Texas.

The third inning was mostly the same as the second. A key error from Christian Walker, perhaps the best defensive first baseman in the game, erased a possible double play and put Rangers at every base. Travis Jankowski then rocked a double to right, bringing two of those runners home and making it 7-0.

And up comes Semien.

Credit to Arizona, they did make it at least a little bit interesting toward the end. Ryne Nelson pitched five innings, allowing just a single run on another solo home run. The Diamondbacks ended up loading the bases in the eighth inning, and the fact they were able to attempt any kind of comeback is because of how well Nelson navigated the lineup two times through.

In the eighth, a sac fly with the bases loaded from Tommy Pham made the score 11-2, setting up Lourdes Gurriel Jr.:

Chris Stratton recovered well to get out of the inning, reducing Lourdes’ comeback attempt and keeping it just a garbage time home run.

‘Zona managed to get the first two about in the ninth as well, with both in scoring position as Will Smith negotiated two outs in the frame. With rookie breakout Gabriel Moreno due to hit, Bruce Bochy went to José Leclerc, the playoff workhorse himself. Moreno got the better of Leclerc with a groundball single, but the closer managed to ice Walker and lock up the win.

Nathan Eovaldi will be tasked with delivering the Rangers’ first World Series title in franchise history. He’s certainly the arm you’d want out there, but he’ll have a tall task in opposing likely Cy Young finalist Zac Gallen. That game comes at you tomorrow, with first pitch at 8:03 pm Eastern.