2023 Season Record: 29-17
2023 series record: 10-4-1
Texas started the week allowing the Atlanta Braves to get beat up the bullpen... or their bullpen beat up themselves? They looked much better against Colorado later in the week.
GAME 41: 0-12 Loss vs Atlanta Braves
I’m choosing to believe the Rangers lost so the Dallas Stars could win.
Sadly, Cody Bradford did not get the MLB debut he probably dreamed of. He gave up six runs on seven hits and two walks. It seemed as if the Braves could only score runs two at a time and they really didn’t care which Rangers pitcher was on the mound... including Sandy León.
León came in to pitch the 9th inning and gave up two runs on a home run.
GAME 42: 7-4 Win vs Atlanta Braves
Their only win of the series came on Tuesday in large part thanks to Dane Dunning.In six innings of work he gave up just one run on six hits and struck out four.
GAME 43: 5-6 Loss vs Atlanta Braves
Another very winnable game lost by the bullpen. It is extremely frustrating when it feels like a starter can’t give a game over to the bullpen safely unless there’s a significant lead.
Nathan Eovaldi went seven innings and gave up three runs on five hits and and two walks. He left the game with a 5-3 lead.
Josh Sborz was credited with a blown save after giving up two runs on two hits and a walk in a third of an inning of work. Brock Burke gave up a home run in the 9th inning to give Atalanta the lead a thus a series win.
GAME 44: 7-2 Win vs Colorado Rockies
Martin Perez looked to be his old self once again! Going seven innings and giving up just two runs on seven hits and no walks and striking out seven.
Interesting to note that Perez got two extra days of rest thanks to the addition of Bradford’s start and the day off on Thursday, it really seemed to help Perez right some mechanical issues he had been having in his previous two starts.
GAME 45: 11-5 Win vs Colorado Rockies
The Rangers pounced on the Rockies early, scoring four runs in each of the first two innings taking advantage of a rough start by Kyle Freeland.
Before we say, "it's just the Rockies" it should be noted that Colorado came into this series an MLB-best 10-5 in May and Kyle Freeland was sixth in the league with a 2.1 bWAR. The Rangers are just actually good.— Christopher Fittz (@apoplecticfittz) May 20, 2023
It was mostly small ball aside from Corey Seager’s first home run since returning from the injured list, second of the season and Ezequiel Duran’s fifth inning solo homer. Duran now has 12 multi-hit games.
Should also be noted, Jon Gray started against the team that drafted him and he spent seven season with. Obviously an emotional game for him that was getting to him in the first inning. He immediately gave up a double, single, and a walk to load the bases with no outs and after a mound visit, got the three outs without a run scored.
GAME 46: 13-3 Win vs Colorado Rockies
Texas finished off the series sweep in similar fashion to Saturday’s game. Andrew Heaney saw what Gray did in the first inning of the previous game and decided to model it for his second inning. A single, walk and single loaded the bases with no outs but thanks to a strikeout and a double play, the Rockies weren’t able to capitalize on it.
The Rangers however, did capitalize on their second inning by scoring five runs this time. Josh Jung started it off by hitting his ninth home run of the season and Seager followed with a two run home run of his own.
Heaney allowed just one (unearned) run in his six innings of work.
The Rangers decision to start Cody Bradford on Monday against Atlanta wasn't so much about that game, but about rest for rest of rotation.— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) May 21, 2023
Since Bradford's start: 5 games, rotation ERA of 2.03, 27 to 6 K to BB ratio and team record of 4-1. In hindsight, move looks smart.