The pregame consensus among the Japanese media members covering Yu Darvish was that the Rangers would deal the right-hander unless they were to win the next two games.
One down, thanks to all that offense Monday.
Darvish might very well be in control of his own trade destiny when he takes the mound Wednesday, if our Japanese friends’ theory is to hold true.
The Trade-Deadline-O-Meter continues to sense that Darvish won’t be traded. Nothing new developed on that front Tuesday, other than the Rangers winning to avoid falling further back in the wild-card standings.
By winning this series and the next, which would require a 3-1 record, the Rangers would be at .500 entering Monday’s deadline day. Darvish would be scheduled to pitch Monday if kept on regular rest.
Intrigue abounds. Four good games could put all that intrigue to rest.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 10-4 victory over the Miami Marlins.
1. The offense now features three players with 20 home runs, and the highest average among them is .215. The other two are the two of the three lowest qualifying averages in the American League.
There is also room for Nomar Mazara and Jonathan Lucroy to improve. The snapped hitless droughts of 0 for 26 and 0 for 22 in the third inning, and Mazara finished with a three-hit game.
Carlos Gomez, the only player who didn’t get a hit in the win, can be better, too.
While there’s talk about adding bullpen help at the trade deadline, the Rangers can help themselves with improvements from within that group of players. They don’t all have to start hitting, but a few more consistent bats can help the Rangers do the kind of things they did Tuesday.
The Rangers hit for power, which they’ve done all season, but they also hit with runners in scoring position, pieced together multiple hits in an inning for runs, they added on runs instead of settling for just a run, and they bounced back in the fifth after the Marlins turned turn a 6-1 game into a 6-4 contest.
The players carrying those unsightly averages and skids were in the middle of things.
“We need those guys to get it going,” manager Jeff Banister said. “We needed those kinds of performances.”
Gallo will continue to get chances to play in left field, which allows Shin-Soo Choo, Gallo and Napoli to be in the same lineup. Gallo has a team-high 25 home runs, and the Rangers are searching for offense.
They can find more of from a group of six players who have room to improve.
2. Count Cole Hamels as the latest veteran to speak up and say that the Rangers are a playoff team. He was adamant about it when he was acquired at the 2015 trade deadline with the Rangers holding a losing record, and he’s confident of it now despite a losing record
“This is baseball,” Hamels said. “You see things different every year, and the unexpected always happens. If you look at it, the wild card is usually the team that goes further because they have to battle the whole year and don’t have things handed to them.
“When you have to battle and really try to take control, you just put your mind in that sort of range of staying true to you, staying true to your teammates and playing the game of baseball until the very last day.”
Hamels was as big a part of the Rangers surge to the AL West title in 2015 as anyone as the Rangers won his final 10 starts of the season, including his complete game in the season finale to clinched the title.
That was his best pitching since the trade, though he was strong in the first half of last season en route to an All-Star nod. But Tuesday’s start marked a second straight that he finds unacceptable.
He allowed four runs, three coming on a homer by Christian Yelich, in six innings. The performance was an improvement on what he did Thursday at Baltimore, when he couldn’t hold a 5-1 lead.
He was up 6-1 at the time of the Yelich homer in the fifth, but the Rangers responded with a four-spot in their half of the inning.
The outing took a turn in the right direction in the first, after he had allowed a Marlins run and walked J.T. Realmuto on four pitches, the last of which crossed up catcher Lucroy. The next pitch was also wide of the zone.
Lucroy then went to the mound. He’s been around long enough to see when a pitcher isn’t in his right frame of mind. Hamels wasn’t. He was ticked off.
“I was frustrated about the situation. Things weren’t playing out,” Hamels said. “He’s played a long time, and I’ve played a long time. We know the game very well, and sometimes the unexpected can happen. It makes your wheels turn, and he kind of understood my wheels were turning a little bit.”
Wait. A veteran catcher helped get a pitcher through a tough spot? Imagine that.
The Rangers are thinking about trading that veteran catcher ahead of a potential run to the playoffs? Maybe they shouldn’t imagine that.
3. Adrian Beltre contributed to the victory with a sacrifice fly, but he was hitless in three at-bats and didn’t make any headway on his road to 3,000 hits.
As he said Monday night, his goal is to reach the milestone this homestand, which has seven games remaining. He averages a little more than a hit a game in his career, and this season is batting .354 at home.
It’s going to happen before the club leaves down Aug. 3. But when?
Elvis Andrus predicts that it will happen before the Seattle Mariners come to down Monday. T.R. Sullivan tweeted that it’s entirely possible that Beltre delivers the big hit Sunday afternoon at about the same time as Ivan Rodriguez’s induction to the Hall of Fame.
That would be quite a daily double, but so would Beltre getting to 3,000 hits after the trade deadline passes Monday and after the Rangers have potential traded Darvish.
The latter doesn’t seem likely to happen as of Tuesday. Despite an 0-fer Tuesday, Beltre’s 3,000th hit will come on this homestand.
Just look at the numbers.