Monday newsletter time: A weekend to forget and a new team in hot pursuit
(AP photo/LM Otero)
One of the perks of having loaded starting rotation is that a losing streak should never last longer than two or three games.
Someone is going to shut down an opponent and help produce a W.
Max Scherzer has been that guy throughout his career. Losing streaks stop with him.
“It just didn’t work today,” he said.
Things didn’t work all weekend for the Rangers, who with a 6-2 loss Sunday were swept by the Milwaukee Brewers. The Rangers have lost four straight games, matching their longest slide of the season, and went only 2-4 on their homestand.
The Astros were also swept over the weekend, though by the Mariners. The Rangers lead the American League West by 2 1/2 games over the Astros and only three games over the Mariners.
Scherzer allowed only three runs, but he was removed in the fourth inning. He threw 42 pitches in the third, when the Brewers scored twice on a hit batsman with the bases loaded and a bases-loaded walk.
“This was a weird start,” Scherzer said. “It’s not like I got hit around. They just put really good at-bats on me. It didn’t feel like I was putting guys away, especially when I got to two strikes. They were just hanging around, hanging around.”
The Brewers did that all weekend, staying disciplined in their approach and not chasing pitches out of the zone. Brewers starters were terrific, and the bullpen, with the exception of the ninth inning Friday, was very good.
They will be a tough out in the postseason.
The Rangers will be, too, but they might end up having to turn back the Mariners in addition to the Astros.
Seattle on the move
The hottest team in the American League is the Mariners, who have won six straight and seven straight road series. They’re in position to pass the Astros for the fifth wild-card spot as they head to Chicago to face the White Sox, who are no good.
Seattle is only a half-game back of Houston.
The Rangers, meanwhile, are on their way to Arizona for a two-game series, then to Minnesota for four and to New York for three where Scherzer could face the Mets team that traded him three weeks ago.
Arizona lost nine straight at one point but is playing better and is in the hunt for for a National League wild-card spot. The Twins lead the AL Central, and the Mets can be tough if their core group of hitters is producing.
This might be the a defining stretch for the Rangers, who have struggled at times on the road but who have also played well against winning teams.
Manager Bruce Bochy stated the obvious after the loss Sunday: The Rangers are in a funk offensively.
After striking out 18 times Saturday, they struck out 11 times Sunday.
Their only run before a meaningless tally in the ninth was a Corey Seager home run. Dating to the first loss of the skid Wednesday, 2-0 to the Angels, the Rangers have been off on offense.
Adolis Garcia was given the day off Sunday to give him a rest, physically and mentally. Leody Taveras has been unable to get back on track. The Rangers batted Travis Jankowski fifth Sunday.
He’s been pretty good this season, but sheesh.
The offense will be better. Jonah Heim will find his timing. So will Garcia.
It just might not happen overnight.
If you weren’t paying attention over the weekend, good. You didn’t miss much on the field. Rangers Today had an interesting weekend, including shooting a new episode of the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast on Sunday with Josh DuPre of Rangers Nation and Jon Daniels, who you know well. The annual Do It For Durrett event is Friday, and Daniels is a board member of the great charity. Here’s some stuff we want you to read and to know, in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Room to improve
Friday on the Farm: Prospect six-pack
Rangers Today Baseball Podcast: Episodes 91-93
Get your Rangers t-shirts (discount code: RANGERSTODAY)
He must be dreaming about tennis balls or going on a car ride. Enjoy.
Pup wagging its tail while sleeping.. 😊 pic.twitter.com/TcADcyweVE
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) August 20, 2023
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com