The homestand that could have saved the Texas Rangers’ season, saved them from trading Yu Darvish, looks like a set of nine games that could sink their season.
The Rangers have lost four in a row and have won only two of the first eight games. They’ve gone from two games under .500, with plenty of momentum after a three-game sweep at Tampa Bay, to six games under and 5 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot.
They’ve done just about all they can to lose the games: no offense in a couple, lousy defense in a couple, no pitching in more than a couple and some mental lapses throughout.
Yep, they’ve earned it.
“We made some mistakes tonight. We hurt ourselves,” manager Jeff Banister said. “When you’re trying to climb back into a playoff race, we’ve got to eliminate those. We’ve got to be better in those situations. Our guys understand that. The coaching staff understands that.”
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from an 8-7 loss to the Seattle Mariners.
1. Dear Statcast,
I think you’ve got a problem.
Had to be.
“I couldn’t tell far or whatever, but I hit it pretty good,” Gallo said. “That one I definitely got the barrel on.”
Those who have been around these parts long enough sure think so. They recall a home run Paul Sorrento hit for Tampa Bay in 1999 that hit the top of Greene’s Hill. Back then, and until fairly recently, it was considered the longest homer in Globe Life Park history at nearly 500 feet, only to be corrected to 455 feet.
I know, Statcast, that wasn’t with your modern technology, but it wasn’t some number just pulled from a hat either. And Gallo’s blast is thought to be longer.
To that end, the Rangers estimated it at 464 feet.
There’s no disputing that the homer went a long way and was the 26th of the season for Gallo. The 409-footer he hit in the sixth was the 27th. That’s only three more than Rougned Odor, who homered earlier in the fourth and is on an absolute homer tear.
The shot, which you, Statcast, measured at 415 feet, was Odor’s fourth in nine plate appearances and his seventh in nine games. (Gallo has five in eight games). Despite all the talk about his average, which is still only .222, Odor is nine homers away from the team-high 33 he hit last season.
But back to the Gallo blast. The first one. The one that you, Statcast, might need to look at again.
Maybe turn yourself off and back on again. Maybe unplug yourself from the wall, wait 10 seconds and plug yourself back in.
Because as I see it, and as the old-timers who remember the Sorrento homer see it, Gallo’s roof shot was longer than 456 feet.
2. Nick Martinez was the first to attempt to fill in for Darvish, traded Monday, and it didn’t go particularly well.
There were some sloppy moments, some pitches that hung in the strike zone and some ineffective relief work with inherited runners (imagine that).
And Martinez could very well start again in five days.
The Rangers have Cole Hamels, Andrew Cashner and Martin Perez in the rotation with two spots to fill. Tyson Ross could refill his spot, though in Darvish’s spot, Sunday at Minnesota if he doesn’t make a second rehab start.
The first, Monday, wasn’t great but wasn’t awful, and he had a better feel for his sinker and no problems with the blister on his right index finger. The Rangers need a starter for Thursday, and that could be A.J. Griffin or Austin Bibens-Dirkx.
Oooh, the suspense.
The off days next week, Monday and Thursday, will give the Rangers a chance to line things up. Hamels, Cashner, Perez, Ross and other.
Martinez has shown improvement this season and needs another long look so the Rangers can evaluate him for 2018. Griffin will be back, too, so maybe he gets a look, but Martinez is also more dependable physically.
My choice: Martinez.
3. To be clear from the main Rangers story in the Star-Telegram from Tuesday night: Adrian Beltre is not seeking a trade, nor are the Rangers attempting to trade him.
However, the idea has been on some minds. If the Rangers are going to trade away Darvish, why not start ridding themselves of other commodities that could help them get younger and cheaper?
(By the way, Beltre said he can’t see himself with another team but would consider only a “perfect scenario.” He wants to win a World Series ring. That’s why he’s still playing.)
Here’s why the Rangers will hold Beltre: They don’t believe they in rebuilding mode. They, and he, believe they will be a contender in 2018. Beltre still believes in the 2017 club’s chances.
But next year’s team will have him, Elvis Andrus, Rougned Odor and Joey Gallo in the infield. Shin-Soo Choo, Nomar Mazara and Delino DeShields can man the outfield. Robinson Chirinos is at catcher.
The rotation is a problem, with only Hamels assured to be back. Perez is a strong possibility as he enters the first of three options years on his contract. The bullpen has been a problem, but Matt Bush, Alex Claudio, Keone Kela and Jake Diekman will all be back.
The farm system will be another year older, too. That will be big for 2019, when Beltre, Hamels, Andrus, Chirinos and Perez could all be gone.
Next season, though, isn’t as bad as many think. That’s why Beltre almost certainly isn’t going anywhere, not that he’s asking to go.