Monday newsletter time: Rangers learn yet again that sweeping ain’t easy
(AP photo/Ashley Landis)
The Rangers were this close to a weekend sweep of the Angels. Instead of coming up short Sunday in the series finale, though, their sweep shortfall came Friday night.
That might be a different way of looking at things, but the Rangers had to settle for winning 2 of 3 from the American League West foe because of the bullpen meltdown in the opener.
Series sweeps aren’t easy.
The Rangers responded with victories of 10-1 and 16-8, and padded their division lead to two games over the Angels.
The offense carried the day Sunday as Martin Perez failed to reach the fifth inning for the first time in 37 starts. He allowed seven runs in 3 2/3 innings, but he left with an 11-7 lead. The offense kept scoring, and the bullpen took care of the rest.
Next up on the 10-game road trip is Seattle, where Jon Gray is scheduled to start tonight. The Rangers would love a sweep, of course, but the goal is always to win series.
The Rangers did that over the weekend, and every fan reading this would be thrilled if the Rangers kept winning series the rest of the season.
Players have long believed that’s how a team makes the postseason. The Rangers will take their series win at Angel Stadium, even if they were this close to a sweep.
So much offense
Maybe, just maybe, Rangers hitters got a little tired of hearing about how great the starting rotation was going to be this season and that the team was going to ride its starters to the postseason.
Look at them now.
The Rangers have 221 runs scored, the most in club history through 33 games and the most by an MLB team since 2000. MLB wasn’t testing for juice back then either.
They have also scored in double digits in nine games, which leads the majors, and have already seen five position players pitch against them.
Five Rangers have at least 23 RBIs, and eight have at least 10.
The Rangers are fourth in the majors in runs (221) and on-base percentage (.346), third in slugging percentage (.454) and tied for third in batting average (.269). All teams ahead of them have played more games.
All of this is being done without All-Star shortstop Corey Seager and power-hitting catcher Mitch Garver, who have been on the injured list since the first half of April.
They are doing it with the usual suspects and some unusual ones — Ezequiel Duran, Leody Taveras and Travis Jankowski. Josh Smith came out of hiding Sunday to connect for a two-run homer after Jankowski exited with a hamstring injury.
And the pitching? Not bad, with the 10th-best ERA in baseball (3.79).
Last week was all about survival for Rangers Today. A lot of irons are in the fire, too many at times, and so we tried to make lemonade out of some lemons. The good news is we’ve come out on the other side just fine and will resume normal programming this week. We were able to get a couple of our weekly features completed. Here they are in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Areas of improvement
Friday on the Farm: The stars of April
He’s not jumping because it’s Monday, is he? Enjoy.
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Jeff Wilson, email@example.com