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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.

ICYMI …

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.

If you like the minor leagues and following prospects as they develop, we should be your go-to place. Subscribe for only $5.99 a month or $60 a day. And if you’ve received an invoice for your annual renewal, don’t get about that. If you haven’t received an invoice, it’s coming eventually.

Here’s our latest, in case you missed it.

Rangers farm report: Dustin Harris, the next Shin-Soo Choo

Jack Leiter ready to go?

Worst loss of the season? Yep.

Mitch Bratt joins Rangers Today Baseball Podcast

Subscribe (for free) to Rangers Today Baseball Podcast channel

Doggy video!

Quite the welcoming committee. Just a good boy doing his job. Enjoy. See you Friday.

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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5 Comments

  1. bflanigin@gmail.com July 7, 2022

    Woodward is taking heat, yes, as you wrote. But then you said, “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.”

    So I ask you, should he be taking some heat? Is it warranted? You wrote earlier in the year that Woodward isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Nor should he. But this season, after a rebound from a slow start, the team can’t seem to get it together as expectations riose. That seems telling to me. Any thoughts? Your dynamic with the Rangers is far different than ours (as fans).

    Reply
    1. Jeff Wilson July 8, 2022

      The thing that I keep falling back on is that the front office knew this team wasn’t a contender in December and even said that, just not directly. The Rangers are still searching for the right guys for 2023 and beyond. Joe Barlow, for instance, probably isn’t going to be the closer. Brad Miller will be the Charlie Culberson of the 2023 team. Nate Lowe’s shaky defense might result in him being a DH. I can second-guess a few decisions by Woodward, but he still doesn’t have a full deck.

      Reply
  2. A Stephens July 7, 2022

    Little frustrated with the relegation of Taveras to a platoon (at least what seems to be an unofficial one). Duggar, if this was a club in the running, would need to stay sharp, but that’s not this club. Guys that need to prove themselves need to play. Duggar’s a bench piece, happy to have him, but he doesn’t need to be playing more than one full game per week along with sundry appearances on a situational basis. My .02 anyway

    Reply
    1. Jeff Wilson July 8, 2022

      No arguments from me.

      Reply
  3. Charles Neeley July 9, 2022

    We have been told by the front office types that the rebuild should not proceed too fast…we simply can’t improve too much, too soon. Why? Well it would raise expectations and might put heat on JDs posterior. The Rangers have now reached the point where the 2022 post-season is but a fantasy. OK, with the exception of Semien (for obvious reasons) any position player over 30 or batting under .225 has to go. I mean by July 31 or whatever the deadline is this year. Next, the President. Then the manager (presently 5-17 in one run games…but he is really analytic, don’t you know).

    Of course it is all but a dream that will not come true (and the post 2011 Ranger nightmare will continue).

    Reply

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