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Friday newsletter time: Robertson, Yates save day (again) for Rangers

(Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

 

Rangers Today does not keep receipts, the figurative kind that Deion Sanders and many on social media like to rub in someone’s face when proven wrong. We do keep literal receipts for the great men and women at the IRS.

(Editor’s note: Those who questioned Coach Prime and Colorado football before last season were ultimately proved correct.)

Receipts, though, do exist of Rangers fans who questioned the free-agent signings of relievers David Robertson and Kirby Yates, now ages 39 and 37.

The decorated veteran relievers were called journeymen and washed up, and the additions weren’t enough for arguably the worst bullpen to ever win a World Series. The Rangers were being cheap, even though Robertson received $11 million for one year.

To those who are feeling a little guilty right about now, it’s OK to admit you were wrong.

They carried the Rangers to a 3-1 victory Thursday night over the Dodgers that allowed the Rangers to capture the series against the World Series favorites. The final two innings weren’t without some nail-biting, but Robertson and Yates did their jobs.

Again.

“What a gutty effort,” manager Bruce Bochy said.

The Rangers went to Robertson after Michael Lorenzen limited Los Angeles to one run in seven strong innings.

Robertson, who wowed Wednesday night as he struck out Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman, allowed the first two Dodgers to reach in the eighth. The next three hitters? Betts, Ohtani and Freeman.

Strikeout, strikeout, strikeout.

No one in baseball this season had struck out that trio in succession this season. Robertson did it twice in 24 hours.

“I put myself in a pretty good pickle there,” Robertson said. “I just had to dig deep and make some pitches.”

Yates also allowed the first two runners to reach in the ninth and appeared to have an issue with a finger. How did he respond?

Strikeout, strikeout, strikeout.

Yates let out a primal scream after his second save in two nights and 10th save of the season. He’s on his way to the All-Star Game at this rate, and Betts, Ohtani and Freeman would likely endorse Robertson.

The Rangers are two games below .500, but they would be in far worse shape if not for their veteran back end of the bullpen.

Big series

Corey Seager was scratched from the starting lineup because of tightness in his left hamstring. Bochy said that he made the decision on Seager out of an abundance of caution and because the Rangers want their best hitter available for all three games this weekend at Seattle.

The Mariners lead the Rangers in the American League West by 5 1/2 games. Per usual, Seattle is short on offense but deep in starting pitching. The Rangers could have nine Seagers and still struggle at T Mobile Park.

One will go a long way for an offense that did just enough in the finale at Dodger Stadium after Seager’s three-run homer Wednesday lifted the Rangers to a 3-2 win.

The Rangers scored twice in the first on an RBI groundout and a two-out Wyatt Langford flare. Langford later brought in the third run on a blooper that fell in shallow right field just beyond Freeman’s glove.

There was a lesson there.

“When we put the ball in play, good things happen,” Bochy said. “Corey wasn’t out there tonight, and the guys did a great job.”

The win is a momentum-builder for the Rangers, who lost the opener of the three-game series 15-2. The decision to rest Seager and Yates’ emotion are indicators that the Rangers understand what’s ahead of them this weekend.

“For us to be able to forget about [Tuesday] and show up and take a series like this, it’s huge for our confidence,” Lorenzen said. “Especially going into Seattle and playing a team that’s on top of our division.”

 

Father’s Day sale

The Rangers are still in the hunt for the postseason, even though they are below .500 and 5 1/2 games behind the Mariners. They have players getting healthy, with right-hander Max Scherzer pitching tonight for Triple A Round Rock and third baseman Josh Jung and reliever Josh Sborz about to start their rehab assignments.

Yes, things are looking up, just in time for the Rangers Today Father’s Day sale. New and gift subscriptions are available for 20 percent off, which works out to four bucks a month.

Click here to get the deal and make your dad happy.

If Dad is more of the Rangers apparel kind of guy, get him official gear from Fanatics here.

Card of the Week

If you haven’t read the latest Boys of Arlington chapter from T.R. Sullivan, do so here.

As always, you will likely learn something. I know I did.

The subjects are Toby Harrah and Buddy Bell, traded straight up for each other at the 1978 winter meetings. Since the series debuted, the Card of the Week has been an ode to the featured player.

I had two choices this week. Bell’s 1972 Topps rookie with Cleveland or Harrah’s 1973 Topps rookie. He got the nod because his is with the Rangers.

Harrah was at the topping-off ceremony for One Rangers Way, a new Rangers Today partner. He’s 75 now and looks great. Ferguson Jenkins was there, too, and is recovering from surgery on the right arm that cranked out 4,500 2/3 big-league innings.

I don’t want to leave out Jim Sundberg, who some might think needs a haircut. He was also on hand.

For those scoring at home, they are three Rangers Hall of Famers. Bell is a fourth.

My takeaway from T.R.’s latest is that Bell and Harrah are underrated and deserve more attention for their solid contributions to baseball history, not just Rangers history.

Doggy video!

Have a great weekend. Enjoy.

Watch today’s video here.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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