Wednesday newsletter time: Finding silver linings in messy loss for Rangers
(AP photo/Ashley Landis)
A postseason berth is as close as a Rangers win and a Mariners loss. The American League West is as close as a combination of three Rangers wins or second-place team losses.
Take that into account when trying to digest a 9-3 loss Tuesday that snapped the Rangers’ winning streak at six games.
The Rangers lost for the first time since Sept. 18. All wasn’t lost, though, as the second-place Astros lost at Seattle to drop the Rangers’ magic number to win the West to three. Houston leads the third-place Mariners by a half-game.
Those two could flip flop tonight.
The Rangers are also inching closer to locking up at least a wild-card spot. As soon as the Mariners are as many losses behind the Rangers as there are games remaining, the Rangers clinch at least the final wild-card spot.
That would be nice, but their best chance at a deep postseason run is through winning the West.
Things unraveled quickly against the Angels, who got a three-run homer from Brandon Drury in the first inning against Cody Bradford. He probably pitched better than his final line (four innings, six runs) would indicate, but Chris Stratton offered very little relief as the Angels scored five times in the fifth.
The offense mustered only one run through eight innings. Josh Smith hit a two-run homer in the ninth.
He was playing in place of Corey Seager, who left early with many other regulars. However, Seager was hit in the right forearm by a Reid Detmers pitch in the fifth inning and was clearly in pain. He remained in the game until the sixth.
Manager Bruce Bochy said that x-rays on Seager’s arm were negative. He’ll be a game-time decision tonight in the series finale.
If there were any silver linings aside from the Astros loss, it was the opportunity to rest Seager, Marcus Semien, Adolis Garcia and Jonan Heim for a few innings while also not having to use the key relievers at the back of the bullpen.
Dane Dunning gets the start tonight. Jordan Montgomery and Nathan Eovaldi have the first two games in Seattle.
The Rangers remain in very good shape with five games to go.
The Rangers will have to reduce their roster by two players if they make it to the postseason, and there will be some difficult decisions.
Two catchers or three catchers, with the third being the light-hitting Austin Hedges? That will dictate whether the Rangers take five outfielders or four.
Which reliever doesn’t make the postseason roster?
Which starter is out of the rotation?
Will Max Scherzer (shoulder) be reinstated from the injured list for the Rangers’ first-round games? It’s looking like he might be an option.
Maybe we shouldn’t get too far ahead of ourselves, but the guess here is these conversations are already in progress.
Double A honors
Four players for Double A Frisco, including two who are no longer in the organization, were selected as Texas League All-Stars.
Saggese was voted as the league MVP after he was moved within the Texas League at the trade deadline. The Rangers sent him to St. Louis in a package for Montgomery and Stratton, and the Cardinals sent him to Double A Springfield.
Acuna was traded to the Mets for Max Scherzer, Kelly is pitching for Triple A Round Rock in the postseason and Carter has emerged as a critical piece to the Rangers reversal in fortunes.
No, you look like an idiot, Carl! Enjoy.
— out of context dogs (@contextdogs) September 26, 2023
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com