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Wednesday newsletter time: With trust in Rangers’ bullpen low, trust the manager

(Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports)

 

ARLINGTON — Leave it manager Bruce Bochy and veteran David Robertson to bring some common sense to the table Tuesday night after the Rangers lost to the A’s 4-3.

Jose Leclerc’s ragged start to the season continued in the ninth with a walk and a two-run homer, Shea Langeliers’ third homer of the game. Robertson had allowed the second in the seventh.

(Leclerc and Robertson were at their lockers afterward waiting to shoulder the blame. True professionals and solid teammates, just as Andrew Heaney and Brock Burke were waiting Monday night after the lost to the Astros.)

The loss was the Rangers’ third in a row. They have played 11 games.

Bochy said it’s too early to overhaul the bullpen, more specifically the ninth inning. Robertson, pitching in his 16th season, said games like that are going to happen.

They’re both right, of course.

The Rangers have 151 games remaining. No matter who ends up in the ninth, whether Leclerc has the job all season or someone is added at the trade deadline, the Rangers are going to lose more games in the ninth inning.

It’s going to happen to the best closers in the game. It already happened to Josh Hader, the closer everyone wanted the Rangers to sign in the offseason, when he entered for the Astros in a tie game and allowed the go-ahead run.

Yes, the Rangers’ bullpen woes last season are still fresh, no matter what happened in the postseason. No one, Leclerc and Robertson included, liked the outcome Tuesday.

But here’s a good rule of thumb: Maybe trust the manager who just guided the Rangers to their first World Series title, has won three others and has a reputation as a master manipulator of bullpens.

Opportunity lost

Bochy wasn’t going to go there. The manager quickly quelled any notion that Adolis Garcia did something wrong in the third inning Tuesday night.

The Rangers had the bases loaded with no outs and their cleanup hitter at the plate. He hit a bouncer back to the mound, and A’s left-hander Alex Wood started a 1-2-3 double play. Jonah Heim then struck out, and the Rangers failed to cash in on a golden opportunity.

Just one run there changes everything.

Like the Rangers failing to close out the victory, sometimes things like that happen.

“We’re talking about a guy who’s carried us,” Bochy said. “You give the pitcher credit. He made some good pitches there.

“You have a guy that’s done what he’s done for us, that’s going to happen occasionally. Sometimes you don’t cash in. That’s all.”

The offense has tallied one, five and three runs the past three games after scoring 17 in the first two games against the Astros. On the positive side, Evan Carter connected for his first home run, and Josh Smith continues to make a difference

He drove in the Rangers’ first run as the No. 2 hitter while filling in for Corey Seager.

On the farm

A few notes from the Rangers farm system, including one that directly impacts the big-league club:

• Rain washed out Triple A Round Rock’s home game against Oklahoma City, which also washed out Michael Lorenzen’s third and final rehab start. The right-hander is expected to pitch this afternoon in the first game of a doubleheader, and the Rangers expect to drop him into the starting rotation at some point next week.

• Double A Frisco avoided the rain at Riders Field and won its home opener 4-3 over Corpus Christi. First baseman Abi Ortiz swatted his first Double A home run after hitting 33 last season across both A ball levels. The save went to Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa. Rolls right off the tongue.

• Before the game, left-hander Avery Weems was placed on the seven-day injured list with a jammed finger. He is pitching this season after missing all of last year while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Get to know Weems by clicking on the YouTube embed below. He is the guest on the current episode of the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast.

 

Ring toss

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Of course, the Texas Rangers Foundation would appreciate it greatly if you made a donation at this link to enter the sweepstakes. A donation does not increase your chances of winning, so says the disclaimer, but the more you donate, the more sweepstakes entries you receive.

Entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. June 23.

Doggy video!

I lol’d, as the kids say. Enjoy.

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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1 Comment

  1. Monty W April 10, 2024

    I’ve read that Mariano Rivera had 80 career blown saves. The best to ever do it, still failed 80x to close out the game. Hopefully Pico finds his groove soon. I’m glad that I don’t have hundreds of thousands of people scrutinizing my day job.

    Reply

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