Tuesday newsletter time: Caution prevails again as deGrom exits Rangers’ win early
(AP photo/Reed Hoffmann)
The Rangers won’t breathe easy regarding Jacob deGrom’s right wrist until after they receive word that it really is as minor as he thinks it is.
He is expected to have precautionary x-rays today after leaving his start Monday night after only four no-hit innings because of wrist soreness.
He said after the game that he wasn’t very concerned about it, probably could have pitched through it and that he hopes to make his next start. That would be Sunday against the A’s in Arlington.
The fact that deGrom spoke to the media was a good sign. Some players would have already exited for the bus had it been worse or already been sent for x-rays.
It’s also a good sign that he isn’t trying to pitch through anything. Maybe that has bitten him in his recent injury past. This isn’t September, and 16 games into a season isn’t the time to throw caution to the wind.
Another good omen? He was more concerned about screwing up his mechanics had he stayed in the game than the soreness itself.
Dane Dunning replaced deGrom and pitched just about as well, albeit in a vastly different way. In going 4 1/3 innings, he would be stretched out enough in case the Rangers decide to skip deGrom.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if they did that. They have played things cautiously with all of their pitchers since spring training, starting with deGrom on Day 1. Nathan Eovaldi, Jon Gray and Jose Leclerc were given similar treatment.
But today should give the Rangers the answers they need, good or bad.
Lost in the deGrom news is that the Rangers threw a combined one-hit shutout, their third shutout win on one or fewer hits since 2000.
It was their third win in four games and their sixth win in the past eight games. The Rangers are in first place in the American League West at 10-6 and are the only team in the division above .500. The Angels and Mariners are tied for second at 8-8.
The Rangers haven’t been four games above .500 since Aug. 6, 2019.
It helps that they have hit a friendly part of the schedule, though a three-game series at Houston hasn’t been easy for the Rangers in nearly 10 years. Kansas City is struggling, and the gawd-awful A’s are coming to Globe Life Field this weekend.
The Rangers then go to Cincinnati. Once again, these Reds aren’t anything like the Big Red Machine.
Things are going to get tougher, and no one has forgotten that the Rangers will be without Corey Seager for at least three more weeks. But the Rangers have a chance to climb even further above .500 over the next eight games.
The Rangers and Royals completed nine full innings in 2 hours, 2 minutes, and that was after a long ninth inning that included a mid-inning pitching change.
That’s the beauty of the pitch clock, and a well-pitched game in which there were only a combined five hits will also speed things up.
The Rangers had four of the hits, including a three-run homer by Josh Jung in the first inning and a Marcus Semien solo shot in the third.
“We really didn’t swing the bats all that well,” manager Bruce Bochy said.
Some still don’t see the beauty in a sub three-hour game, and the 2:02 time of game was the Rangers’ shortest game since 2007. Their average pace of play through 16 games has been 2:36.
That seems like it would be the sweet spot for most fans.
Most, but not all.
He had $20 on the 2-3 exacta in the fifth. Enjoy.
So funny pic.twitter.com/3dwEfLmHRF
— puppies (@animalsvideoss) April 14, 2023
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org