Monday newsletter time: Rangers close solid April with rout of Yankees
(AP photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)
If we’re being perfectly honest, the past week wasn’t the best week for the Rangers.
They went 3-4, losing the first four before rallying, and saw their top pitcher go on the injured list for 15 days.
But taking 3 of 4 from the Yankees helped the Rangers preserve an excellent first month (plus one March game). It was one of the best first months in club history.
They beat up the Yankees 15-2 on Sunday to finish April and their first 28 games with a 17-11 record. It’s the first time they have won 17 times in their 28 games since 2013, and the 17 wins though April are tied for the second-most in club history (the 1998 team won 18).
The Rangers out-hit and outpitched their opponents, with a plus-72 run differential (178-106). That’s the biggest differential though 28 games in franchise history, shattering the 1998 club’s previous record of +58.
The winning series against the Yankees gave the Rangers three straight series wins at Globe Life Field for the first time, which might be more of an indication of how bad the past three seasons of been than how good the 2023 Rangers are.
But the Rangers are good. They had their successful April without shortstop Corey Seager for more than half of it and with their starting rotation not pitching as well as it could.
Jacob deGrom was very good. Nathan Eovaldi had the best start of the month Saturday in a 2-0 complete-game win. Martin Perez has been as steady as they come. Jon Gray and Andrew Heaney have had their ups and downs.
The offense received contributions from everybody. Marcus Semien started faster than last season, Adolis Garcia was an American League Player of the Week, and Travis Jankowski, the last player to make the Opening Day roster, has been a spark plug.
And then there’s third baseman …
Jung’s first month
Speaking of record months, Josh Jung set a club record for homers and RBIs by a rookie by the end of April.
He needed a first-inning grand slam and a career-high-tying five RBIs, but he did it. The previous records were five homers by Garcia in 2021 and 16 RBIs by David Murphy in 2008.
The Rangers didn’t do a ton of work on their lineup in the offseason, instead relying on internal improvements from Jung and Mitch Garver. Garver is on the injured list, but Jung has been an upgrade at a position that hasn’t produced much since Adrian Beltre retired in 2018.
Jung is, at minimum, meeting expectations. Only Garcia has more homers (eight) on the team. Jung leads the team in strikeouts, which is a tad concerning, but he’s a better hitter than he was after coming up late last season.
He is a front-runner, maybe the front-runner, to be AL Rookie of the Year after the first month of the season, and the Rangers wouldn’t be as good as they have been without him.
I strongly endorse visiting Charleston, South Carolina. Fun city, lots of history and good eats. I don’t endorse the Associated Press changing its style to spell out state names in text rather than abbreviating them. With newspapers getting smaller and print space shrinking, spelling out state names seems counterproductive to the industry that the AP serves. So, that is the only time Rangers Today will not abbreviate at state (not all states are abbreviated, however).
Anyhoo, the vacation limited the content the past few days. But there was some. Here’s the latest, in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Guarding Jacob
Friday on the Farm: Cody Bradford coming in strong
I fall asleep almost daily at my laptop, but never ON my laptop. Enjoy.
Hmmm this looks like a nice warm spot to nap pic.twitter.com/1gCAL1DCGX
— Charles 'DoBronx' Oliveira (@CharIesDoBronx) April 27, 2023
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org