Brought to you by: Big Shucks
The Texas Rangers played a brutal series against the Oakland Athletics to start last week. The A’s were led by Ranger-killer Khris Davis as he proved to be a true nemesis to the team. The Rangers found new ways to lose four in a row. However as low as that feeling was by late Thursday, the team reaches a new high by being the only team to sweep the defending World Series champions this season by early Sunday evening. The team also traded SP Cole Hamels to the Chicago Cubs last week. Other players could move by the July 31 deadline. It’s up to management to make the moves and see what pays off.
Series versus the Oakland Athletics
Game 1 – Cole Hamels had one last start to tank his trade value before he was shipped off to the Cubs. Hamels was shelled badly for 7 runs over 5 innings. Matt Moore came in briefly after and gave up an astounding 6 runs over 1.2 innings. Alex Claudio came in after and sealed the blowout with 2 runs given up of his own. The game was so awful Ryan Rua and Carlos Tocci came into the game as pitchers and outperformed the actual pitchers. Brett Anderson was solid for the A’s. Loss 15-3
Game 2 – Game 2 was just as brutal as game one, but for a different reason. The Rangers established an early lead and scored six runs in the sixth inning. They captured a 10-2 lead but managed to blow it. Elvis Andrus’ first career Grand Slam was part of this monstrous six run inning. Mike Minor gave up 2 runs over 4 innings. Cory Gearrin turned in one scoreless inning before the trouble started. Brandon Mann came in and gave up 3 runs. He also walked 2. Jose Leclerc tried to mop up Mann’s mess, but gave up two hits. Jake Diekman entered the next inning and walked three people. He gave up three runs too. Keone Kela came on and barely got out of the 8th. In the following inning Kela blew a one-run lead to acquire his first blown save. Austin-Bibens Dirkx came in for the first time since setting the Rangers record for reliever ERs allowed and gave up a huge 3-run homer to Khris Davis to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Loss 13-10
Game 3 – The Rangers blew a 5 run lead to blow Game 3. Martin Perez pitched well, Cory Gearrin and Jose Leclerc were less than stellar in their appearances. Beltre had two hits. Loss 6-5
Game 4 – Bartolo “Big Sexy” Colon had a rough outing. He gave up 6 runs, but lasted 7 innings. Claudio and Diekman followed. Claudio gave up a run. Trevor Cahill usually does well against the Rangers, but he was the worst of the A’s pitchers. Matt Chapman had three hits and runs. He also had a walk. Beltre had three hits. Rangers got swept by the surging A’s. Loss 7-6
Series at the Houston Astros
Game 1 – The Rangers faced off against the Astros to end the week. Dallas Keuchel was outperformed by Yovani Gallardo, who threw 5.1 scoreless innings. Gearrin, Eddie Butler, and Brandon Mann tossed the last 3.2 innings. Gearrin and Mann both gave up a run. Isiah-Kiner Falefa had 4 hits. Beltre 3 hits. Robinson Chirinos had 3 runs. Every Rangers batter had an RBI in this group effort. Win 11-2
Game 2 – Plucky prospect Ariel Jurado pitched six exceptional innings. He gave up two hits and pounded the strike zone with his two-seam fastball. Jose Leclerc and Jake Diekman both pitched scoreless innings. Austin Bibens-Dirkx gave up a monsterous homer to Alex Bregman to make the game 7-3 Rangers in the 9th, but finished the game. Shin-Soo Choo failed to reach base, but the man behind him in the lineup, Rougie Odor, had a career day. Odor went 5-5 with two homers. One of them was an inside-the-park shot to right center. Odor has continued to improve and has become significantly more consistent at the plate. Joey Gallo had a monsterous 3 run homer to pad the Rangers lead to 7-1. The Rangers were patient at the plate early, and Justin Verlander had his pitch count run-up and lasted only 5 innings. Win 7-3
Game 3 – Mike Minor turned in his typical six inning quality start. He gave up 2 runs and struck out 8. Lance McCullers Jr. struck out 11 with his nasty curveball. However, he only lasted 5.1 innings. The bullpen was solid behind him, shutting down the Rangers. McCullers ran into trouble a play after Yuli Gurriel accidentally cleated Jurickson Profar in the face. Gurriel then made an error in the infield, allowing Profar to score. The Rangers would not give up the lead, and Alex Claudio and Jose Leclerc shutdown innings 7 and 8. Keone Kela closed the game, although it was a rough one. Win 4-3
Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
7/30 @Diamondbacks 8:40 p.m.
7/31 @Diamondbacks 8:40 p.m.
8/2 vs Orioles 7:05 p.m.
8/3 vs Orioles 7:05 p.m.
8/4 vs Orioles 7:05 p.m.
8/5 vs Orioles 2:05 p.m.