Wednesday newsletter time: Another one-run Rangers loss? Here’s how No. 23 this season unfolded
(AP photo/Ted S. Warren)
The Rangers keep finding new ways to lose by one run, which at this point is incredibly difficult considering they’ve lost 23 one-run games.
The latest came Tuesday, a 5-4 walk-off loss to Seattle after scoring to in the eighth to tie the game and once in the ninth to take a lead.
Brett Martin, though, blew his first save since being installed as closer, and the Rangers fell 10 games below .500 with their fourth loss in the past five games.
Adolis Garcia doubled twice, including the tying two-run double that initially was a foul grounder until it spun left over first base and into right field. Leody Taveras collected two hits, including a leadoff single in the ninth. He scored two batters later on a single by Ezequiel Duran.
The Rangers, though, saw J.P. Crawford open the Mariners’ ninth with a single and score as Cal Raleigh followed with a double. After a bunt and two intentional walks, Carlos Santana lofted the winning sacrifice fly.
Rather than a glaring mistake beating them, as has been the case in recent one-run losses, the Rangers were beaten by the Mariners.
“We’ve had some tough ones,” manager Chris Woodward said. “What I love is there were a lot of moments where we made plays that we needed to. We keep getting in these situations, and we’re going to learn from them.”
Dane Dunning, as is often the case, allowed two runs in the first inning, but that was all Seattle would get against him over five innings in his first start off the injured list (left ankle impingement). He was activated before the game, and left-hander Taylor Hearn was sent to Triple A Round Rock.
Nate Lowe drove in a run in the seventh to make it 2-1, but Matt Moore allowed his first home run of the season in the bottom half to restore the Mariners’ two-run lead.
Two two-out walks preceded Garcia’s odd-ball double.
Martin struggled with his command, as the fastball Raleigh hit was on the outer half instead of the inner half. The fastball Santana hit to Taveras in center field wasn’t a bad pitch, but it was thrown just high enough to be a flyball instead of a grounder.
“At the end we just made a couple mistakes there in the ninth,” Woodward said.
The Rangers have lost six straight one-run games, three of them in six games so far on this road trip, and 12 straight on the road.
Yet, the loss Tuesday was a new way of doing it.
The worst-kept secret since the draft is now out in the open: Kumar Rocker has a deal with the Rangers for $5.2 million.
It became official Monday with a tweet from the Rangers’ Twitter account.
They did not make Rocker available, nor did they make any club officials available to talk about it. That suggests they don’t have answers for all of the lingering questions, such as: How are the medicals? Will Rocker pitch this season? Where do things stand with fourth-rounder Brock Porter?
Rocker, the right-hander selected third overall in the MLB Draft, will be introduced Aug. 4, the first night game after the trade deadline. All draftees who sign with the Rangers will go to Arizona for onboarding and to get dissected at the performance lab in Surprise.
The Rangers announced the signings of six other draftees: RHP Matt Brosky (eighth round), SS Griffin Cheney (ninth round), OF Josh Hatcher (10th round), LHP Kohl Drake (11th round), RHP Jackson Kelley (12th round) and LHP Justin Sanchez (18th round).
Two undrafted free agents have also signed, both college pitchers: LHP Seth Clark (Georgia State) and RHP Jacob Maton (Coastal Carolina).
On the road again
The Rangers will finish up their three-game series at Seattle this afternoon before heading south to Anaheim for a four-game series that will take them through the end of the month.
It will also take them within 48 hours of the trade deadline, which this year falls on Aug. 2. The Rangers have never been shy about striking deals a few days before the deadline.
As such, club executives will be waiting for text messages and phone calls. A club exec will be on hand to deliver news directly to any player who gets traded. The Rangers have multiple candidates, including Moore, right-hander Garrett Richards and outfielder Kole Calhoun.
They are on expiring contracts, as is lefty Martin Perez. While he might be the Rangers’ most attractive trade piece, he’s a better candidate for a contract extension for a team that needs starters the rest of this season and the next few.
The Rangers are in a position to be buyers, too.
Beat writers don’t like it when the team they cover isn’t home at the trade deadline, as has been the case as recently as 2020.
Room service, anyone?
Chick magnet! Enjoy, as this doggo did. See you Thursday.
Center of attraction..🐕🐾😅 pic.twitter.com/f21juZcW6N
— 𝕐o̴g̴ (@Yoda4ever) July 26, 2022
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org
When a team is 5-23 in 1-run games, it’s more than bad luck. Yes, the bullpen is…not great. That said, at some point, you have to realize that most of those losses are systemic, a product of the system created by the manager.
I’ve refrained from piling on Woody because, frankly, he’s been given VERY little to work with. But the record in close games is so horrid that I’m ready to see him go.
A season of growth and even hope has faded. The projected win total for 2022 is 73. Ouch