2023 Season Record: 9-6
2023 series record: 3-2
A much better week for the Texas Rangers means last week had to have been a fluke... hopefully. Winning both series this week, including an away series against the in-state rival for the first time since 2018, the Rangers secured their AL West first place spot for at least a few more days.
GAME NINE: 11-2 Win
The beginnings of the series against the Kansas City Royals and a crazy start to this week included a starting pitcher breaking a team record set by Nolan Ryan, and it wasn’t even the ace. Andrew Heaney had a redemption start on Monday. Striking out nine consecutive batters, Heaney tied the AL record and broke the team record of seven set by Nolan Ryan.
I gotta say it's a different vibe when for the Rangers org when a guy goes out, ties an AL record for consecutive Ks and the next night they send out their ace.— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) April 11, 2023
Adolis Garcia also hit a grand slam in this game:
GAME 10: 8-5 Win/10-innings
This game was way more frustrating. Jacob deGrom got the Yu Darvish treatment from the Rangers. deGrom had solid pitching, went seven innings, coming out of the game with a 4-2 lead but something about that did not feel secure.
Which it wasn’t...the Royals went on to score one run in the 8th which meant Leclerc came out in the 9th and unfortunately blew the save. Taking the Rangers to their first extra innings game of the season and preventing deGrom from getting that win.
Batting in the 10th innings, the Rangers were down 5-4 and quickly got the first two outs. However, Garcia came up and singled to get ghost-runner Marcus Semien, once again tying the game.
Then, with two outs, Josh Jung walked. Brining up Jonah Heim who had been 0-for-4 with strikeouts in the game. So off to the 11th, right?
Nope. Heim redeemed himself and homered, giving the Rangers their first walk-off of the season.
(I tried to ignore the bad thing from this game in which Corey Seager pulled a hamstring and will be out for at least four weeks.)
GAME 11: 10-1 Loss to Kansas City Royals
This was a very bad no-good game. Kansas City had 14 hits and the Rangers had 4. Surprisingly no errors to be had but that score is really all you need to know.
Nathaniel Lowe scored the lone run thanks to a home run.
GAME 12: 6-2 Win @ Houston Astros
Rangers headed south to play the reigning World Series champs, the Houston Astros.
Martin Perez kicked off the series, going just five innings and giving up two runs on five hits and four walks. Both runs on solo-homers.
Star of the game, Semien went 2-for-3 with two walks
GAME 13: 8-2 loss @ Houston Astros
Similar to the game against Kansas, not a great game for the Rangers. Although, I think losses to the Astros always sting a little more because of the rivalry.
Jon Gray only went two innings but thats because he was pulled in the third after taking a 109 mph ball off the elbow. Luckily he looks good and won’t miss a start. Crisis averted.
This loss also sucked just a little more considering the rubber match was the ESPN sunday night game... which means essentially watching an Astros broadcast.
GAME 14: 9-1 Win @ Houston Astros
If you hadn’t kept up with these teams or standings, based on the broadcast you would not have guessed that the Astros were the team under .500 and in third place in the division instead of first.
It’s unfortunate how much the broadcasters loved the Astros because they missed out on a stellar performance by Texas.
Heaney pitched five scoreless innings, giving up just two hits and three walks.
Semien hit a grand slam in the 7th inning to start the scoring. But Houston came back in their half of the 7th to load the bases with no outs and Burke even walked in a run therefore ESPN suddenly believed Houston had a chance?
Jonathan Hernandez and Will Smith, along with Heim’s framing behind the plate, got all three outs. A fantastic performance that had it gone bad, changed the game.
Again, isn’t it nice to have a manager her knows how to use a bullpen effectively?
This win against the Astros actually dropped them down to fourth in the AL West and while it’s only week three, I think that’s something that should be celebrated!