Wednesday newsletter time: A happy, soggy Fourth of July for Rangers
(AP photo/Michael Dwyer)
Nothing in life is certain except for death, taxes and a rain delay at Fenway Park whenever the Rangers play in Boston.
That might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but over 16 seasons covering the Rangers and taking many road trips to the venerable ballpark, it’s been my experience that it rains a lot when the Rangers are in town.
The umpires attempted to avoid stopping Tuesday’s game between the Red Sox and Rangers, but finally had to make the call in the bottom of the eighth inning. The teams returned to the field and finished off the final seven outs of a 6-2 Rangers win.
Mitch Garver had his best game of the season, clubbing an early three-run homer and driving in four runs. Dane Dunning allowed one run in six innings, and four relievers finished things off as the Rangers snapped a two-game losing streak.
It never poured during the game, but a steady rain led to sloppy conditions and increased injury risk. At one point left-hander Brock Burke had to call the grounds crew out to work on the mound, and Leody Taveras almost fell on his face trying to get out of the batter’s box on a grounder to second.
The win came after the Rangers arrived in Boston late Monday and had a quick turnaround for a July 4 day game. Jonah Heim was given the day off, which led to Garver being in the lineup. Don’t be surprised if another regular or two is off tonight in the second game of the three-game series.
Stretches like these happen to teams over 162 games, though the Rangers having to play four straight road games is unusual. Closer Will Smith said on Monday that the Rangers are ready to have some time off as they navigate a stretch of 30 games in 31 days.
Six players are going to the All-Star Game, including five of the first six batters in the regular lineup. They will get their rest on the back end, though not a ton of it.
Winning, though, is a really popular energy drink.
Angels troubles, Rangers gains?
No baseball fan wants to see Mike Trout on the injured list or Shohei Ohtani leaving a game with the trainer. Angels fans are probably OK with Anthony Rendon being injured again.
All three were felled in over a 24-hour stretch Monday and Tuesday. Trout has a broken hamate bone that needs to be removed and will be out up to eight weeks. Ohtani has a blister on his middle finger that he hopes is gone by the time the second half starts. Rendon was on crutches after the Angels’ game Tuesday.
The injuries aren’t going to help the Angels as they attempt to stay in the postseason hunt. They entered today seven games behind the Rangers in the AL West and four games out of a wild-card spot.
The Trout and Ohtani injuries could be good news for Rangers All-Stars Adolis Garcia and Nathan Eovaldi.
The AL team now has two starting outfielders who won’t be able to participate, which could open a spot for Garcia to start.
Ohtani said that he will not pitch in the All-Star Game, which could lead to Eovaldi starting the game.
Six starters is a real possibility for the Rangers.
Right-handed prospect Josh Stephan allowed two runs in 4 1/3 innings Tuesday night at Frisco in his Double A debut. The only thing that spoiled the outing was that he had to leave in the fifth with back stiffness after charging a tapper in front of the plate and throwing to first.
The Rangers are confident that Stephan won’t miss time.
It was a fun night at Frisco, which beat Midland 6-3. Stephan, who went to South Grand Prairie High School, had a very large cheering section at Riders Field that contributed to a sellout crowd of 12,045. That’s the second-largest crowd in franchise history and the largest on a Fourth of July.
The save went to Antoine Kelly, who was acquired at the trade deadline last year in the Matt Bush trade with Milwaukee. Kelly, a left-hander who appeared in big-league spring training this year, was routinely pumping his fastball in the upper 90s and showed good control.
Luisangel Acuna had a big game at the plate, going 3 for 5 with two RBIs.
Now, how did the officer get back over the fence?
— 𝕐o̴g̴ (@Yoda4ever) July 4, 2023
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com