Thursday newsletter time: Another one-run loss, one lousy series for Rangers
(AP photo/Julio Cortez)
A series that on paper looked like it presented an opportunity for the Rangers instead has put a dent in their season.
The Rangers couldn’t prevent a three-game sweep Wednesday to Baltimore, losing 2-1. Every game was a one-run loss, and in this one the Orioles scored just one earned run.
The Rangers, who had been flirting with .500 and possibly squeaking into contention, are now 37-43.
“I know how much this team cares and how much they wanted it,” Woodward said. “It is a little heartbreaking. We played well enough to have a really good road trip, and it just didn’t work out.”
Once again, the Rangers are a better team than a year ago, but they operate with little margin for error and with an imperfect roster. Manager Chris Woodward is taking some heat for this stretch and for the Rangers’ putrid 4-17 mark in one-run games.
He didn’t assemble the roster, mind you, and doesn’t throw a ball, field a grounder or fail to get a runner in from third with less than two outs.
Baltimore scored both of its runs in the second inning on a weakly hit two-out grounder to shortstop Corey Seager, whose throw to first was late and bounded into the camera well as both runners scored.
Those runners were on base courtesy of two of Glenn Otto’s three walks over five innings. The Orioles scored a half-inning after the Rangers couldn’t get Nate Lowe home from third with one out.
“The few opportunities we did have to score, we didn’t do much with them,” Woodward said.
The Rangers are off today before opening a 10-game first-half-ending homestand against Minnesota, Oakland and Seattle.
Some opportunity exists there, too, and the Rangers can’t it slip away as they did with the one they had at Camden Yards.
Taveras needs to play
The Rangers recalled center fielder Leody Taveras with the intention of playing him regularly, which means not a bench player but not an everyday player.
He should be an everyday player.
Taveras is one of the Rangers’ three-best outfielders, and they are well ahead of the fourth-best. He had a nice road trip, batting .333 (8 for 24). He’s using all fields and hitting for power, his defense is terrific, and his speed is game-changing.
He went 2 for 3 on Wednesday and drove in the Rangers’ lone run.
Woodward is a believer in getting bench players like Steven Dugger games to stay sharp. It makes some sense, but not when Taveras might be ready to be the player the Rangers believe he’s going to be.
One more Wednesday silver lining: Jose Leclerc tossed two scoreless innings in relief. The Rangers need him to be good and need him to be able to pitch multiple times a week.
That Baltimore series was a stinker, which turned the road trip into a stinker, and July is off to a stinky start. But it’s not all bad across the organization, and Rangers Today covers it all.
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Rangers farm report: Dustin Harris, the next Shin-Soo Choo
Quite the welcoming committee. Just a good boy doing his job. Enjoy. See you Friday.
— Fred Schultz (@FredSchultz35) July 6, 2022
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com