For once I’m going to kind of bury the lede to write about Joey Gallo when writing about Joey Gallo is often to the only topic to cover. Gallo went 3-for-3 with a walk today. He raised his batting average with two singles so people can finally like him.
This was game No. 81 for the Rangers. This is officially the halfway mark of the season. Joey Gallo is on pace for a 40-dong, 6.2 fWAR year with 132 walks and a near .400 OBP (.396). He’s fifth in the AL in BsR (the baserunning component of fWAR) and is a gold glove outfielder with one of the most feared arms in the league.
Joey Gallo is one of the 15 or so best players in baseball and a guy you build around. Re-sign him or get an entire farm system for him later this month but as goes Joey Gallo, so goes the Texas Rangers.
Meanwhile, the whole Rangers lineup was busying itself with bodying the A’s with Texas tormenting starter Sean Manaea for four run in five innings before exploding for another four runs off the Oakland bullpen.
The 15-hit, 8-run outburst allowed the Rangers to grab their first series win in Oakland since 2016. Texas also hit four home runs, including Gallo’s fifth in five games.
On the mound, starter Dane Dunning didn’t really have it today but he wiggled out of danger at every turn and, before he could get battered in the odd-inning fifth, he was lifted after just 68 pitches.
John King came in and picked up the win despite allowing all three A’s runs (two earned but the unearned run was due to his own error) in three innings. Interestingly, King didn’t allow a hit in his three innings of work.
After two series so far in 2021, the Rangers are 4-3 against a contending Oakland squad while a ghastly 8-16 against the rest of the AL West so maybe they are the annoying team for the hated East Bay team this year.
Sometimes it’s fun to be that team.
Player of the Game: While Gallo gets his deserved headlines, we’ll give the nod to Nate Lowe who has also quietly heated up of late. Today he went 2-for-4 with a walk. Both of his hits landed among the weirdos in the bleachers in Oakland. Lowe drove in three runs and scored two and he now has 12 dingers in 2021.
Up Next: The Rangers travel up to Seattle to take on the Mariners with RHP Kyle Gibson set to make the start for Texas in the opener against RHP Logan Gilbert for the home team. Friday’s first pitch from T-Mobile Park is scheduled for 9:10 pm CT.