Unlike pretty much all of the 2023 season, the past week in Rangers baseball has been…not good.
The Rangers were swept at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds, a team they should have been able to beat. Up until this point in the season, Texas had been pretty good at beating the teams they’re supposed to take care of.
After the final game of the sweep on Wednesday, Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said, “Tough series, one you really wanna forget, you know, got nicked up, this is one we gotta head home and reset here right now and get back to our game.”
The fact that the Rangers were handed three straight losses doesn’t really hurt that bad. However, sometimes it’s not about the loss but how you lose.
On Monday and Tuesday, the Rangers had multi-run leads heading into the 8th inning before the bullpen collapsed. It didn’t matter who Bruce Bochy threw out there; they didn’t seem to have the answer to shutting down games.
Coming into the series, the Rangers’ bullpen had been quite good. Before Monday’s series opener with the Reds, the Texas bullpen had allowed just 1 run or less in 7 consecutive games.
This leaves question marks for how Bruce Bochy will manage the Rangers pen. You have to hope this was just an off-series for the bullpen and not a sight of what’s to come.
The bullpen was the first alarming sign we saw in Cincinnati, but the other was injuries, something the Rangers know all too well (maybe or maybe not a Taylor Swift reference).
The big scare came when Rangers’ rookie third baseman Josh Jung was hit by a pitch in hand, forcing him to leave the game early. Early X Rays came back negative, and it was later announced that Jung left the game with a left-hand contusion.
Travis Jankowski was also removed from the game on Wednesday. The Rangers’ center fielder left the game with left hip tightness. It is possible that Jankowski could be looking at some time on the IL.
Overall, it looks like the Rangers dodged two bullets on the injury front. However, it will be interesting to see what roster moves will be made if either Jung or Jankowski does need to hit the IL.
A lot of times in baseball, you need to have a quick memory, and that remains true for the Rangers this week. There will be no rest for the weary because Texas welcomes the Yankees to town for a four-game series starting on Thursday.
At the end of the day, the three losses don’t hurt Texas too much, but the way in which they lost does. Texas threw away three wins, and if their playoff push comes down to a few games, chances are we’ll be thinking about those three that got away in Cincinnati in late April.
However, the Rangers still lead the Astros by half a game in the AL West and still sit with a 14-10 record. Texas will need to bounce back against a tough opponent this weekend at the Globe.