Thursday newsletter time: A rotten series for beaten, battered Rangers
(AP photo/Jeff Dean)
In the moment, a series like the one the Rangers just played at Cincinnati feels like the end of the world.
Three losses to a last-place team, all in that last-place team’s final at-bats, will do that to even the most hardened fans.
In reality, it’s three games in a season of 162. The unexpected usually happens in baseball, but no one expected the Reds to pull off a three-game sweep.
Nick Senzel did the honors this time, connected on a two-out homer in the ninth as the Rangers were walked-off for the second time in three games. At least the Rangers didn’t blow a lead in this one.
They did that in the first two games, leading Monday by four and Tuesday by six before losing.
The Rangers played most of the game without third baseman Josh Jung, who was hit by a pitch in the left hand. X-rays were negative, which is very good but not as good as it not happening in the first place.
Travis Jankowski left, too, with stiffness in his left hip.
The Rangers were also likely to face a bumpy flight heading home
That Reds series should have made their stomachs turbulent enough.
Again, it is only three games, though a win or two would have been nice ahead of a six-game homestand that begins tonight against the Yankees and Diamondbacks.
The great thing about baseball is there’s usually a game the next day.
But the unexpected usually happens in baseball, as the Rangers were just reminded.
The Rangers have played the Yankees since trading catcher Jose Trevino and shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa last spring, but much has happened to the former Rangers draftees since the two meetings in 2022.
Trevino was an All-Star and a Gold Glove winner last season. No one needs to tell that to Rangers catching coach Bobby Wilson, who helped Trevino and Jonah Heim become the two best pitch-framing catchers in the game.
Kiner-Falefa is no longer the Yankees’ starting shortstop, having been replaced by rookie Anthony Volpe. Kiner-Falefa can be found roaming around center field and at third base, where he won the American League Gold Glove in 2020 with the Rangers.
Center field has been an adventure as he plays the position for the first time.
Another former Rangers player will be making a homecoming, too. Willie Calhoun, the prize of the Yu Darvish trade in 2017, is on the Yankees’ roster after signing there as a free agent in the offseason. The Rangers traded him last season to the Giants for outfielder Steven Dugger.
Calhoun infamously popped off after the Rangers demoted him early last season, saying he wanted to be traded. He was also hit in the face in the spring of 2020 by a 95 mph fastball, and he reached out to Josh Smith earlier this month after Smith was hit by an 89-mph fastball.
He’s a good guy. So are Trevino and Kiner-Falefa. Give them a nice welcome, fans.
For some reason, the past three or four episodes of the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast have triggered the sensitive events violation with Google Ads. It makes no sense. What happens when that happens is I file an appeal and it either gets approved or not. We just got approved for the most recent episode after some email correspondence.
Just to be sure If you’re a fan of the podcast, click the link below to watch it on YouTube. There are other links below to our latest content, in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Dunning, Ragans doing fine
Friday on the Farm: Tapping the breaks on Evan Carter
Me (hopefully) at some point the next four days. Enjoy.
Mood.. 😅 pic.twitter.com/aLTE716jDv
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) April 26, 2023
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com