The grounds crew at Globe Life Park had a busy weekend trying to keep the rain from soaking the field too much to play baseball.
They succeeded, as the only delay Saturday was a brief one and as the pregame showers all weekend didn’t harm the field.
Just think: In three years, they won’t even need a tarp.
The sewer lines and utilities are being installed now for the new stadium scheduled to open in 2020 with a retractable roof. The roof will keep out the rain and also keep things cool.
The reason for the quick pace of game Sunday.
“I think it was so hot we didn’t want to be out there that long,” right-hander Andrew Cashner said.
Steve Sparks from the Houston Astros’ radio team made a keen observation. With roofs in Arlington and Houston and pleasant climates in Anaheim, Oakland and Seattle, the American League West is going to be an inviting place to play.
Pretty cool, one could say.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 2-1 loss Sunday to the Astros.
Each was a gift for players and coaches from Beltre, who was showing his appreciation for their support during his run to 3,000.
It’s time for them to step up in the support category again. He believes that the Rangers can still reach the playoffs, just as many used to swear that the planet was flat.
He’s the one pouring everything he has into the voyage to prove others wrong. The one run the Rangers scored Sunday came off his bat. That home run extended his hitting streak to eight games, during which he has driven in 11 runs.
(It’s also past time to stop pinch-running for him.)
That’s not to say that everyone else is on cruise control. Elvis Andrus, for one, certainly isn’t. Delino DeShields, who had two hits and made a terrific diving catch in left field, isn’t even though he’s lucky to play twice a week.
It also isn’t that Beltre is that much better than his teammates. He’s their best player, sure. A great player. A future member of the Hall of Fame.
But his ability to will himself to a goal is unmatched. He punched the gas on the road to 3,000 hits, wanting to accomplish on the last homestand. He had nine games to get 11 hits, and that’s what he did.
He’s the one who put the dagger in the Astros on Saturday by slapping a two-run single. He’s the one who does something in every Rangers win.
Beltre said he has one last gift to give his teammates. He wouldn’t say what it was.
Maybe he can bottle up some of his will.
2. Cashner’s neck appeared to be just fine, five days after he was scratched from his start at New York, as he pitched seven strong innings.
So, he’s good, and Cole Hamels looks good. That leaves three starters who need to carry their weight the rest of the season to give the Rangers a shot at the postseason, with Martin Perez the one with the heaviest lifting to do.
To Perez’s credit, he understands that.
He’s coming off his best start since 2015 and believes that he has his struggles figured out. He isn’t tipping pitches anymore, and his timing, rhythm and tempo were all better Wednesday against the Mets.
We’ll see what effect Miguel Cabrera, Justin Upton and Ian Kinsler, all right-handed hitters, have on Perez on Monday, when the Detroit Tigers come to town.
A.J. Griffin will pitch Tuesday. He wasn’t a good matchup for the Tigers in May, and still isn’t. Tyson Ross will pitch Thursday to open a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox.
The Rangers absolutely will take the kind of start Ross gave them Saturday. He actually gave them a chance to win, and they did.
With Cashner and Hamels looking good for the stretch run, Perez, Griffin and Ross will have to carry his weight. Perez has the heaviest-lifting to do.
3. Dallas Keuchel looked just fine in his fourth start off the disabled list after lasting no longer than five innings in the first three. He allowed eight runs Tuesday at the White Sox.
So, that’s one quality starter the Astros have healthy. Lance McCullers is a quality starter, but he isn’t currently healthy and seems to have been on the disabled list more than the active roster in his career.
He would give the Astros two starters who could — could — be horses in the postseason. It seemed as if Houston would breeze to the American League pennant and then give the National League club in the World Series a deal of trouble.
That’s not the layup it was only a month ago.
The Astros who appeared at Globe Life Park are dealing with their share of injuries, including McCullers and star shortstop Carlos Correa, so they’re not the same potent club as they were in the first half.
Those players are supposed to be healthy in time for the playoffs, but will they have had time to get locked in. Keep in mind that Keuchel has been on the disabled list twice this season, too.
The starting pitching is an issue, and always has been. The Astros didn’t address it at the trade deadline, acquiring Francisco Liriano to be a reliever.
Their lineup, while wildly potent, will run into a team that can pitch. They might run into a team that can pitch and plays in colder weather.
Looking at the wild-card standings, who knows which that team will face the Astros in the division series. Cleveland or Boston, though, would give the Astros hell in the championship series.
With seven weeks left in the season, the Astros have time to right the ship. But their starting pitching is currently an issue, and always has been.
It could be what bites them in October.