Joey Gallo sends Rangers fans home happy with big blast
Here it is just after 11 p.m., players and fans long gone after nine innings of baseball, and it still hasn’t started to rain.
Before anyone piles on the fine meteorologist in our fair town, at least it rained somewhere.
Forecasting the weather can’t be easy. If it was, there would be no need for them.
But it seems like there should have been a way to tone down the doom-and-gloom predictions Wednesday afternoon before everyone and their mother started canceling services, classes and events.
Even the two local Orangetheory Fitness studios Rangers Reaction frequents canceled their evening classes.
It’s safe to assume that many fans took a hard pass on the Texas Rangers’ game at Globe Life Park against the Los Angeles Angels. Announced attendance: 16,691.
They missed a sweep, and a harrowing ninth inning from Jose Leclerc.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 5-4 victory.
1. The picked-for-last Texas Rangers are 10-7 and in third place in the American League West. The Rangers play host to the division-leading Houston Astros for a three-game series that starts Friday after both teams have Thursday off.
The picked-for-first Astros just put together a 10-game winning streak and will have Justin Verlander on the mound for the opener. The Rangers will counter with Drew Smyly.
But just as the weather is hard to predict, so is baseball. The Rangers beat Verlander earlier this month and won twice in the three-game series.
In other words, maybe bowling ball-sized hail won’t fall Friday, either.
The biggest thing to develop from this unexpected start isn’t Mike Minor or Elvis Andrus or Shin-Soo Choo or Joey Gallo, but the belief the Rangers seem to have in the data-driven changes many of them were asked to make in the off-season.
Seeing is believing.
The players needed to have early success to be sold on the changes, and they have. Gallo had it early. Delino DeShields started to get it in the past week. Isiah Kiner-Falefa has had success all season.
With each comeback win, the Rangers have seen what the offense can look like when every hitter is doing his job. They believe more and more.
So, maybe no one else believes this start or believes that the Rangers can sustain winning baseball the entire season, but they believe it right now.
2. Lance Lynn turned in another workmanlike effort, throwing 102 pitches in 5 2/3 innings to win his second consecutive start. Thirty-one of those pitches came in the third inning, when the Angels could have broken open a big lead but scored only once to make it 2-0.
Through four starts, Lynn has shown who he is. He’s a competitor, he’s durable and he gives his team a chance to win whether it’s pretty or not so pretty.
But he can be better. He’s shown that throughout his career, including in the second half last season after a trade to the New York Yankees.
Lynn will start again Tuesday at Oakland, the day after Minor throws the opener of a seven-game West Coast road trip. They will pitch the final two games, April 27-28, at Seattle.
If the Rangers are to turn around their road woes (they went 2-4 on their first road trip of the season), getting four starts in seven games from Minor and Lynn will give them their best chance.
The Rangers are more and more convinced that Smyly has cleared the last of the Tommy John hurdles by gaining a feel for all his pitches. They still need to see that from Shelby Miller and hope that Adrian Sampson can pitch out the rotation as he did out of the bullpen.
The Rangers need to start seeing those things sooner than later.
3. The fine people at NextStep Recruiting will hold a charity golf tournament Thursday that for the second straight year will benefit the Do It For Durrett Foundation.
Those who are playing in it get a chance to play the new Texas Rangers Golf Club, on the site of the former Charles W. Ditto track in Arlington known for sloping fairways and hard pan in the trees.
Not that Rangers Reaction ever missed a fairway there.
But it is Do It For Durrett season again, as the charity that honors Richard Durrett and helps families affected by sudden loss gears up for its sixth event June 19 at Globe Life Park.
Tickets aren’t on sale yet, though it’s probably safe to mark your calendars for May 1 or thereabouts. Items for the silent and live auctions are being gathered, and the expectation is for another mammoth haul for bidders to consider.
It’s a fun event in a laid-back atmosphere with a ballgame being played in the background. Last year, Minor flirted with a perfect game.
Get ready for more news in a few weeks.