Tuesday newsletter time: Max Scherzer dominates Angels as Rangers’ West lead grows
(AP photo/Tony Gutierrez)
ARLINGTON — I know it’s early, but that Max Scherzer trade the Rangers made just might work out.
They improved to 3-0 in games started by the three-time Cy Young winner, who delivered his best start of the season in a 12-0 victory over the Angels.
Scherzer struck out allowed one hit in seven scoreless innings, striking out a season-high 11 and issuing only one walk. One of the strikeouts, of Brandon Drury in the first inning, ended with a pitch-clock violation.
Don’t get Scherzer started on the pitch clock. He’s not a fan.
“I don’t know why they called that, but whatever,” he said.
That weird moment preceded a long second inning, which kept Scherzer from going deeper in the game, but he didn’t need to go any deeper. His work was done.
“You saw one of the best on top of his game,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
The Rangers supported Scherzer with a patient approach against left-hander Patrick Sandoval, who walked six and threw 83 pitches in 2 2/3 innings.
Marcus Semien put the game out of reach with a three-run homer in the seventh, giving him five RBIs for the game. Adolis Garcia, for good measure, hit a two-run homer later in the inning.
Robbie Grossman collected two doubles, Mitch Garver had two hits and the Rangers scored a few runs on Angels brain farts.
The story, though, was Scherzer, who said he and Garver found a rhythm in the third that kept Angels hitters at bay and allowed the Rangers’ bats to keep pounding away.
“It feels great when you don’t give up any runs,” Scherzer said. “But I’ve pitched long enough to know that you enjoy these moments, but you also know that there’s also going to be games where you’re going to be in a tight ballgame and you’ve got to pitch around that.”
The win, coupled with an Astros loss, pushed the Rangers’ lead in the American League West to 3 1/2 games. The Angels are 12 1/2 games out in the West, a seven-game drop in the standings since the trade deadline. They have slid four games, to seven back, in the wild-card standings.
Yes, it’s OK to laugh.
The Mariners lost, too, and they are 7 1/2 games out in the West and two out in the wild-card race.
Travis Jankowski was all smiles Monday afternoon as he rejoined the team after the birth of a daughter Thursday in Pennsylvania. The cross-country flight from San Francisco wasn’t a lot of fun, but he was able to catch up on some sleep before flying to Arlington on Sunday night.
He had the day off as Bochy stuck with the hot hand after the Rangers stuck with the hot hand.
Outfielder J.P. Martinez, who replaced Jankowski while he was on the paternity list, stuck with the club and started for the fourth straight game. The Rangers optioned infielder Jonathan Ornelas to Triple A Round Rock rather than Martinez, who is a very similar player to Jankowski.
Here’s why: Corey Seager’s thumb is much better.
“He gave us coverage in the infield,” Bochy said of Ornelas. “We got Corey to the point where he can go out there pretty much every day. That’s what we felt like we needed. And as you saw in the last series, J.P. played all three games. He’s a good ballplayer.”
Get your tickets
The Rangers on Monday announced that Lone Star season ticket memberships for 2024 are on sale, and anyone who purchases tickets now will have priority when it comes to purchasing tickets for the 2023 postseason and the 2024 MLB All-Star Game.
Season tickets are available in full-season, half-season and 20-game packages. Lone Star members get some perks, the Rangers said, including food and drink discounts, merchandise discounts and early entry to select games.
For more information, visit www.rangers.com/seasontickets.
According to Baseball Reference, the Rangers entered Monday with a 97.5 percent chance at reaching the postseason. FanGraphs had their chances at 92.1 percent.
So, they’re saying there’s a chance.
If you haven’t watched Episode 92 of the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast with Cam Cauley, do so by clicking the YouTube embed below. It’s a really good show with the native Texan, who turned down Texas Tech in 2021 to sign with the Rangers.
If you haven’t subscribed to the channel, go ahead and do so because you won’t want to miss the next episode. John Moore and I shot it Monday, and our guest was one of Cauley’s teammates at High A Hickory — first-round pick Wyatt Langford.
The fourth overall pick last month, Langford joined from his hotel room in Hickory. The club left on a two-week road trip as he was assigned there, and he hasn’t been in Hickory long enough to get an apartment.
The audio is available here. The video is coming later this week.
The French judge didn’t like landing. Otherwise, a perfect 10. Enjoy.
“I meant to do that” 😂
🎥 IG: sum_maisie_meadow pic.twitter.com/7NLpJzkHCe
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) August 14, 2023
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org