Rough Start to the Week
Week four of the Texas Rangers season did not begin as expected. They began their second road trip of the season in Oakland with a 12-8 record. Joey Gallo had just been named American League player of the week. Things looked promising.
And then the bats went silent.
They fell to Oakland 6-1 on Monday night. Mike Minor allowed four runs through six innings but the offense failed to deliver any help.
Lance Lynn had his worst outing of the year allowing eight runs through just 3 1/3 innings. Joey Gallo had his best game of the week going 3-for-4, but it wasn’t enough as Texas lost 11-5.
Texas lost 6-5 on Wednesday in a game that featured nothing but relief pitchers highlighted by Kyle Dowdy, who got the start. He allowed three runs in three innings, however the offense couldn’t get over the hump.
Taylor Hearn’s Debut
Thursday, the scene switched to Seattle and saw the Major League debut of Taylor Hearn, one of the Rangers’ top pitching prospects. It didn’t go as planned. Hearn allowed five runs (four earned) in just 1/3 of an inning. Texas ended up losing 14-2. After the game manager Chris Woodward said that he believed nerves got to Hearn, which was why he struggled. But then on Friday, it was announced that Hearn was being shut down for three weeks with inflammation in his pitching elbow. An MRI indicated no structural damage which was good news for the team.
Shelby Miller took the mound for the Rangers on Friday in a 5-4 loss. He tossed five innings and allowed four runs. Once again the offense could not come back. Texas had lost five in a row and found themselves under .500 with a 12-13 record at that point.
Then the weekend happened, the offense exploded, and the pitching went into shut down mode.
Mike Minor continued to look the staff ace for Texas in a 15-1 rout over the Mariners on Saturday. Minor allowed one run on three hits over seven innings while striking out 13. Ariel Jurado, who was called up to replace the injured Taylor Hearn, tossed two innings of scoreless relief.
Lance Lynn made up for his short outing earlier in the week against Oakland by matching Minor’s night from the day prior with one run through seven innings. Texas dominated once again by a score of 14-1.
The Texas Rangers became just the second American League team in history to score 13 or more runs in back-to-back road games since the 1936 New York Yankees did it against the Philadelphia Athletics.
They now are back above .500 in third place, with a record of 14-13, and sit 2.5 games behind the first place Houston Astros.
Danny Santana continued to fill in admirably for Rougned Odor who returned from the injured list on Friday. As a result, utility infielder Patrick Wisdom was optioned back to triple-A Nashville and Santana took over at first base for the still injured Ronald Guzman.
The Rangers finished the road trip with a record of 2-5 but a run differential of +12.
Joey Gallo was not able to defend his American League Player of the Week award as he went 4-for-21 with six walks and 11 strikeouts.
Mike Minor continues to increase his trade value. He’s currently 3-2 with a 2.88 ERA and a WHIP of 0.910. Whether or not he gets traded remains to be seen. He is signed through 2020 at $9.8 million per season, which is an attractive contract as he’s not a rental player and could yield a couple of good pieces in return. It all depends on how Texas plays the next couple of months. If they can stay above .500 and continue to compete in the division then logic says he stays. But if the Rangers fall out then a decision must be made.
Until next time, I’ll see you in the cheap seats!
View the original article on Last Word On Baseball: Mike Minor Leads the Texas Rangers to a Record Weekend