Blitz Weekly

Rangers Early June Struggles

Yu Darvish is currently sporting a 5-4 record, but would certainly appreciate a little more run support. Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs

Yu Darvish is currently sporting a 5-4 record, but would appreciate a little more run support.
Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs

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By Wiley Singleton

The Rangers faced off against the two best home run hitting teams. The Astros and Tampa Bay Rays shelled the Rangers pitching. The Rangers have fallen out of the league lead in quality starts after going all week without one. The Rangers starters struggled without AJ Griffin and Cole Hamels. Martin Perez had two ineffective starts.

5/29 – vs Rays – Game One – The Rangers faced off against the Rays to open their week. Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo helped the Rangers gain an early lead, which Martin Perez blew before being pulled from the game. Perez gave up a huge shot to Evan Longoria. He was replaced by Tony Barnette, who managed to blow another lead after Shin-Soo Choo got a clutch hit to make the game 7-5. Barnette came into the game with two man on, he gave up a double on the first pitch, making the game 7-7. Two pitches later, he gave up a soul-crushing three run homer. Last season Barnette was exceptional at stranding runners. He has not been nearly as good at that this season, and it has been a huge part of the hole in the 7th inning portion of the bullpen. Along with Jeremy Jeffress and Sam Dyson, Barnette has been significantly worse than he was last year. The Rangers fell 10-8 in a game they led multiple times.

5/30 – vs Rays – Game Two – Nick Martinez started game two and failed to make it out of the fifth inning. He gave up three homers and five runs. He was backed up by exceptional bullpen outings from Dillon Gee, Keone Kela, and Matt Bush. They all pitched scoreless outings. Gee went 2.2 innings and was the lynchpin of the Rangers victory. Elvis Andrus had a great day, blasting a huge two-run homer. Elvis had three hits and two runs. Choo continued to do damage from leadoff, blasting a homer and walking twice with a hit. The Rangers offense had another great day, and the bullpen kept the game close while the Rangers did damage late. Range win 9-5.

5/31 vs Rays – Game Three – The rubber match of the series saw Rays ace Chris Archer face off against Austin Bibens-Dirkx. Bibens-Dirkx was average in his starting debut, giving up three runs in 4.2 innings. He only struck out two and walked three. Chris Archer went 7.0 innings and struck out 7. The game was extremely close in the bottom of the seventh when Elvis Andrus came up in the bottom of the seventh with two outs and a runner on 2nd. Elvis dunked a ball into the gap to score the runner and made the game 4-3. Matt Bush came into the game in the 9th to close the game. Bush got two quick outs and then gave up a solo homer. The Rays have stylistically changed since Joe Maddon left. They are much more of a power hitting team than they used to be. Bush learned this the hard way and they game was tied 4-4. Dyson came in and ensured his ERA did not fall below 10.00, immediately throwing two balls then giving up a homer. He gave up another homer and the Rangers got two on in the bottom of the 10th. Rougie Odor hit into a game ending double play. Sam Dyson’s sixth loss earned him a trip to the minors. The Rangers lost the series and squared off against the team with the best record: the Astros.

6/2 vs Astros – Game One – Astros Ace Dallas Keuchel has been excellent this year. He was great against the Rangers. He pitched 6.0 scoreless innings. Yu Darvish was good until he gave up a massive three-run shot fifth inning. The Astros never looked back and won the game easily 7-1. The Rangers only got four hits. George Springer and Carlos Correa both homered. Beltre got his first homer of the year.

6/3 vs Astros – Game Two – Andrew Cashner ran into trouble in the third inning. Cashner loaded the bases and gave up a couple runs. Cashner was opposed by Lance McCullers Jr. McCullers struck out eight, Cashner only two. Nomar Mazara managed a walk but struck out four times. Joey Gallo and Jared Hoying were both hitless. The Astros took a one-run lead into the 9th, but Jose Altuve hit a homer off of Keone Kela to give the Astros a two-run lead. A 9th inning solo shot cost the Rangers again. Astros win 6-5. Elvis Andrus was great again, logging three hits and RBIs.

6/4 vs Astros – Game Three – Martin Perez got behind early and Brad Peacock capitalized. Peacock pitched 6.0 innings, giving up two runs. Perez gave up five earned runs, lasting 3.2 innings. The Rangers managed six hits, but only two runs, Rougie Odor had a solo shot. Overall the Rangers were dominated by the Astros. The Astros look incredible, almost all of their hitters are batting over .250. The Rangers only won one game all week. Delino DeShields struck out a ton and cooled off after several good weeks. Choo and Andrus were both exceptional. Gee was good as well. The Rangers will take on the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals this upcoming week.

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
6/6      vs Mets          7:05 p.m.
6/7      vs Mets          7:05 p.m.
6/9     @Nationals     6:05 p.m.
6/10   @Nationals     11:05 a.m.
6/11    @Nationals    3:05 p.m.

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