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Tuesday newsletter time: Curse of the Catcher bites Rangers again

(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)


ARLINGTON — Maybe Rangers pitchers should stop pitching to light-hitting catchers.

For whatever reason, and it’s happened three times now, the Rangers have lost games when a catcher connected for multiple home runs. It happened twice in April, when Oakland backstop Shea Langeliers connected for three homers and when Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud also swatted three.

Jake Rogers hit a mere two Monday night, but his two solo homers were enough for the Tigers to edge the Rangers 2-1.

“I was thinking about that, too,” right-hander Nathan Eovaldi said. “We can’t let those guys beat us.”

In fairness to Rogers, he connected for 21 home runs last season, but he entered Monday with only two. Eovaldi surrendered the first Rogers homer with two outs in the third. It served as the Tigers’ first hit.

Jose Leclerc surrendered the other, this time in the eighth, and the Rangers couldn’t solve Tigers reliever Beau Brieske as he tossed the final three innings for his first win of the season.

The Rangers out-hit the Tigers 8-4, but their only run came on Marcus Semien’s fourth leadoff homer of the season. They had chances against Tigers ace Tarik Skubal, including in the third and the sixth, but the early Cy Young front-runner wiggled off the hook each time.

Eovaldi allowed only three hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven and throwing 71 pitches in his second start off the injured list. He nearly doubled his pitch count from his start last week and should be able to pitch without limitations going forward.

Langford looming

Semien and Corey Seager collected two hits against Skubal, with Seager extending his hitting streak to 16 games, and so did rookie Wyatt Langford.

He rocketed a single in the second inning at 105.4 mph and was credited with a triple with two outs in the fourth on a ball down the right-field line that bounded away from the Tigers’ Wenceel Perez.

Since returning from the injured list last Tuesday, Langford is 6 for 23 (.261) with four RBIs. Those aren’t staggering numbers, but he has hit eight balls with an exit velocity of at least 96.5 mph.

“It seems like he’s getting his swings off,” associate manager Will Venable said. “He’s got a great swing and hits the ball hard. Early in the season you saw a guy that was maybe a little more passive, and this time around he’s being more aggressive on pitches he can drive.”

Hitters consider anything 95 mph and above to be hard-hit.


Where’s Bruce?

The Rangers were without manager Bruce Bochy to open the series as he tended to a previously scheduled personal matter. Venable served as the acting manager.

It doesn’t really matter why he was absent, but in not giving a reason, the Rangers created some room for speculation.

Had it been a family celebration, be it a graduation or an anniversary or the birth of another grandchild, it seems like the club would have mentioned that.

The Rangers likely would have also mentioned if Bochy had a dental procedure or a minor medical procedure.

I’m going with community service.

The loss, by the way, goes on his ledger.

Venable didn’t enjoy his first game as a manager.

“Not good,” he said. “We lost.”

Doggy video!

Despite the defender’s best efforts, they couldn’t force a fumble. 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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  1. Boo June 4, 2024

    Rogers’ 2 HR’s are all on Dave Raymond… the jinx master! 1st time Rogers came to bat, Dave made a point of telling us his BA was only .218 and that he only has 2 HR’s for the year. Thanks Dave!! 🙂

    1. Jeff Wilson June 4, 2024

      Maybe he can mention that Nathaniel Lowe has only two homers.


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