For months leading up to the trade deadline, the bullpen was the central area of need for the Texas Rangers, who were all the sudden going to be amongst the most aggressive buyers in all of baseball.
However, with the inconsistencies of Andrew Heaney and Martin Perez, and the injury to Jacob deGrom earlier in the season, rotation help jumped to the forefront of GM Chris Young’s to-do list.
The same aggressiveness from the front office that lured the likes of Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, and Jacob deGrom to Texas went to work on the starting pitching side of things at the Trade Deadline.
Before the week of Deadline Day even hit the calendar, both Max Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery were Texas Rangers, and early returns have been more than expected.
This week when the Rangers took on the Angels at Globe Life Field, we saw precisely what Texas got in their two new flamethrowers.
Max Scherzer toed the mound in the series opener and was virtually unhittable. Scherzer went seven innings allowing just one hit and striking out eleven.
After the Rangers, 12-0 blowout win Bruce Bochy said:
“He [Scherzer] had it all going tonight; four pitches [and] great command, you saw one of the best on top of his game, and that was pretty much it.”
From the moment he’s been in a Rangers uniform Mad Max has looked like the kind of pitcher that he was in his prime. Since joining Texas, Scherzer is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his 20 innings pitched.
For Jordan Montgomery, it hasn’t been the absolutely unhittable stuff that we’ve seen from Scherzer, but Tuesday night, when he toed the mound against the Angels, we saw the best start for his short Rangers career.
Montgomery spun six innings of one-run ball while striking out nine in a Rangers 7-3 win.
When asked what was working for him, Montgomery said:
“I think the fastball in kinda set everything up, making them really kinda respect that pitch opened up away and under.”
Since joining the Rangers, Montgomery has an ERA of 2.50 with a 2-1 record in 18.0 innings pitched.
Early returns are just early returns but so far, so good for the two newest Texas Rangers.
Since the trade deadline, Rangers starters have a 2.19 ERA.