Wednesday newsletter time: Rangers pull away as bats back Eovaldi’s professional start
(AP photo/Colin E. Braley)
Marcus Semien and Adolis Garcia each connected Tuesday night for a three-run homer, and all nine hitters in the Rangers’ lineup collected at least one hit.
All of that production led to another double-digit output in a 12-2 victory over the Royals. Semien homered in a third straight game to cap a five-run sixth inning and turn a 3-2 game into a runaway.
But the offense wasn’t the only good storyline for the Rangers. An argument could be made that the production wasn’t even the main storyline.
Nathan Eovaldi’s performance deserves some serious consideration.
The right-hander was not his best, and that’s the story. Kansas City threatened repeatedly against Eovaldi over his six innings, but could only muster two runs against him.
He gave the Rangers a professional outing, making chicken salad out of chicken feathers, and keeping his team in the game until their bats finally made the Royals pay.
“You can’t say enough about what Nate did,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “The first inning or two, he was off a little bit, but we did a nice job of coming back. It was a one-run game there going into the sixth inning.
“He made a nice adjustment so he could hit his spots there. He regrouped. That’s what a pro does. He’s been around. They were on him early, and he could have caved in.”
Eovaldi competes. He has stuff. He knows how to pitch with his five-pitch arsenal. If the game plan isn’t working, he can quickly draw upon a backup plan.
The Royals came out quickly, with Bobby Witt Jr. collecting a leadoff triple and Salvador Perez following two batters later with a double. Both balls were hit hard, though both balls could/should have been caught.
Eovaldi allowed seven hits. He had only one 1-2-3 inning. It was surprising to see him pitching in the sixth inning after the way the Royals pressed him early.
“It took me a little while to find my rhythm,” he said. “The first two innings I felt like they were barreling balls and there were no soft hits. I had to make that adjustment and start pitching inside more. I felt like I was able to get them off their game.”
As Bochy said, that’s what a pro does.
Good news on deGrom
Jacob deGrom woke up Tuesday morning and his right wrist was feeling better. The soreness he felt Monday night, forcing him from his fourth start of the season after four no-hit, continued to dissipate, so much so that he all but guaranteed that he won’t miss his start.
The Rangers’ athletic trainers put him through some tests, all of which he said he passed.
“Everything feels good,” deGrom said. “I fully anticipate making my next start.”
The right-hander still has a few boxes to check. He needs to play catch, which he will do today before the season finale at Kauffman Stadium. He throws his between-starts bullpen session two days before his next start. The bullpen would be Friday, as the Rangers are off Thursday before opening a three-game home series against the A’s.
Manager Bruce Bochy wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about Sunday as deGrom but also didn’t have many reasons to not be pleased with the medical report.
“Right now it’s all positive, and he’s positive with where he’s at with that arm,” Bochy said. “He’s not penciled in because we do want him to throw and evaluate him. If all goes well, there’s a possibility he could start.”
Dane Dunning would be available Sunday if deGrom isn’t able to start. Dunning relieved deGrom on Monday and allowed only one hit and one walk in 4 1/3 innings in the 4-0 win.
The Rangers have played 17 games this season, or 11 percent of their schedule.
It is really early, but at five games over .500 (11-6), they appear to be a good team.
The Royals have played 18 games, or 11 percent of their schedule.
It is really early, but at 10 games under .500 (4-14), they appear to be an awful team.
They look like the Rangers the past three seasons.
Again, it’s early. The Rangers might start reverting to their 2022 form, though the rotation is built to prevent long losing streaks.
The Royals are young at many positions and just not very good at others. Their rotation might be better than what the Rangers had the past two seasons, but it’s no better than fourth-best in the American League Central.
These two teams are done playing each other this season, which is bad news for the Rangers. It’s early, but they appear to be a good team and the Royals appear to be awful.
Fun fact: I can do that, but with my eyebrows. Enjoy.
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