Date: Monday, July 24th
Rangers’ Record: 48-50 (T-2nd, 17 games behind Houston)
Wild Card Position: (7th of 12, 2.5 games out)
Tonight’s Opponent: Miami Marlins (44-52)
Tonight’s Starters: Adam Conley (2-3, 6.75) vs. Martin Perez (5-7, 4.72)
The Pac-Man of Globe Life Park (or the crop circles, or the amoeba, or whatever you chose to call it) is gone. Sometime over the 14 days of All-Star Break / road trip, the grounds crew fixed it. It looks great, except for one small strip in the right field corner that looks like they just cut it too short, and also Greene's Hill looks like it has mange now (no idea why, beyond the first guess: it's hot as a subterranean cauldron of fire in Texas right now.)
I had almost grown attached to the weird shapes, but they’re gone now, and if the Rangers go on a run and get that Wild-Card spot, I think we’ll all know why.
The team’s back home, and we have a week to figure out where this season is headed. It’s the July 24th Baseball Texas Daily!
1. Adrian Beltre 3,000th Hit Watch: Beltre is at 2,989 after a triple and a single in yesterday’s 6-5 win over the Rays. ELEVEN HITS TO GO. Will he accomplish this during the current nine-game homestand? Beltre has been hitting the ball well since the team returned from the All-Star Break, so it’s not impossible to think he might get it done at home.
NUMBERGENERATOR.ORG PICK A NUMBER BETWEEN ONE AND THREE THOUSAND:
[Computer says: 1,380]
Adrian Beltre’s 1,380th hit was on August 17th, 2007 as a member of the Seattle Mariners. Beltre had three hits that day, two of them off of starter Jose Contreras, the second of which would ultimately be the game-winning single. But the first one was a first-inning double for hit number 1,380.
We’ll keep doing this every day until he gets 3,000.
2. Yu Darvish going to be traded? No one knows, but with Clayton Kershaw and Stephen Strasburg both going down within an hour of each other, the rumors are certainly a’whirling. We did get to talk to Darvish today, but we were explicitly told that he only wanted to talk about his recent starts or preparation for upcoming starts. This isn’t the usual, so I spent a lot of the time trying to formulate a better way to ask my question.
Gerry Fraley of the DMN came in late, and we at least got this one question: "Yu, as you know, there has been much discussion outside the club about your future. Have you personally gone to anyone with the club, such as Jon Daniels or Jeff Banister, and expressed your desires for your future?"
The answer: "Now, of course, I talk to my families a lot. But other than that ...no."
3. Tyson Ross has been placed on the disabled list with a blister on his right index finger. According to Jeff Banister, the blister is something he’s been dealing with for awhile now, not something new from his last start, so perhaps that was a contributing factor in his recent inconsistency. Ross has an ERA of 7.52 this season, and didn’t make it out of the fourth inning in yesterday’s start, throwing just 48 of his 84 pitches for strikes. To replace Ross on the 25-man roster, the Rangers have called up…
4. Brett Nicholas, who gives them some catching depth in light of Robinson Chirinos’ ankle sprain yesterday. Chirinos feels better than expected today, and was walking without a boot (or a limp) in the clubhouse. Banister, however, said that–even though they think he could be an “emergency player” today–they felt it wise to give him a few days to recover.
Nicholas, who spent the first part of the season recovering from knee surgery, has hit .311 in Round Rock this season, hitting 7 home runs and driving in 38 runs in 69 games, with an OPS of .822. “I’ve been feeling good down there,” Nicholas told us today, “I started off well, just focusing on getting the knee back to where it was. Thankfully, there have been no issues with it, and the game has kinda followed.”
“The nice part is, this team has such a great offense that, from the catching side of things, and for a younger guy, it’s not a thing where I need to come in and do a whole lot; they’re already doing a ton of stuff. So as far as my side of things go, I’m just staying within myself, and I believe good things will follow if you do that.”
5. Jake Diekman threw a bullpen session yesterday. “Twenty-seven.” he stated confidently. 27 pitches, and no setbacks. “I already played catch today, and I feel really good. I feel better after every bullpen; I’m not as sore, so yeah I feel like it’s coming along really well. I have to remember that this is kind of my Spring Training, but it’s really hard.”
Diekman throws again on Wednesday. “I’m gonna try to get up to like 30. That’s means probably about 33 (because) I’m probably going to throw a couple that suck, and I’ll get mad.”
Perhaps it’s too early to judge results, but there is one way of measuring Diekman’s satisfaction with the bullpens he has thrown thus far. “I’ve only dropped, like, four cuss words in all my bullpens, which is good.” I asked if this was an estimate, or the StatCast™-approved measurement. “The exit velocity of the cuss words out of my mouth is… extremely extremely fast,” he joked.
By the end of the conversation, he also let us know that the goal was to be facing live batters before the end of the homestand.
6. Giancarlo Stanton hit a ball over the car in center field, which is slightly left of, and significantly farther away from home plate than, Greene’s Hill. If it went over the car, that means it probably hit somewhere around the door for the gift shop in center field. Neato.
LANGUAGE WARNING (Sorry, Mom). Angel Olson's 2014 "Burn Your Fire For No Witness" is dark and moody and I love it. Also the first (and in my opinion, best) song has a title I am not at liberty to type in full in this space. But the lyrics are totally safe for work, so long as no one sees the title on your screen. Olson's reminds me of a more rootsy and slightly cleverer Lana Del Rey (disclosure: I haven't heard LDR's newest album), bringing a somber vibe in the most beautiful way. She also has a newer album, "My Woman" from 2016. But I like this one better.
(Spotify, Apple Music, Website)
During the regular season, these recommendations occasionally come from Rangers players, broadcasters, or other people around the team (here’s a complete list). If there’s a player or person you’d like Levi to ask for a music recommendation, shoot him an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or a tweet here.
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