Date: Wednesday, June 28th, 2017
Rangers’ Record: 39-38 (T-2nd, 12.5 games behind Houston)
Wild Card Position: (1.0 games behind CLE & TB. Tied with LAA)
Tonight’s Opponent: Cleveland Indians (40-36)
Tonight’s Starters: Yu Darvish (6-5, 3.12) vs. Trevor Bauer (6-6, 5.35)
Baseball is wild. One day after a 9-2 lead became a 15-9 loss, the Rangers got a gem from Tyson Ross and the bullpen and beat Cleveland 2-1 when Adrian Beltre hit a solo home run in the 9th inning to break a tie. Texas has an opportunity tonight to move into the second Wild Card spot if they beat Cleveland and Tampa Bay loses to Pittsburgh.
Yes, it is entirely too early to be talking about these things. But it’s kind of a slow news day. It’s the June 27th Baseball Texas Daily!
1. Carlos Gomez is getting a(nother) day off in Cleveland. Gomez also missed last night with back soreness. He insisted yesterday that he could have played, but apparently there was a flare-up, because Delino DeShields is back in the starting lineup in center field. Speaking of the lineup, there are a few interesting notes. First, here’s the lineup:
DeShields (CF), Shin-Soo Choo (RF), Elvis Andrus (SS), Adrian Beltre (3B), Nomar Mazara (LF), Jonathan Lucroy (C), Rougned Odor (2B), Robinson Chirinos (DH), Joey Gallo (1B).
Jonathan Lucroy gets another chance to catch Yu Darvish; it makes sense, given how his last outing went. Darvish went 7 innings, allowing just two hits, no walks, and striking out ten. The irony is that the Darvish assignment has belonged to Robinson Chirinos for much of the season, but just as Chirinos' bat make it a virtual impossibility to keep him on the bench, Lucroy has swooped in and will be catching the Japanese ace for the second time in a row.
But fret not: Chirinos’ ultra-hot bat stays in the lineup at DH again.
2. Austin Bibens-Dirkx (not Nick Martinez, who was also up for consideration) will start Friday’s series opener in Chicago, facing former Ranger Derek Holland. (Andrew Cashner is expected to come off the DL and start tomorrow). ABD is 3-0 with a 3.68 ERA this season, and is quickly becoming the best story of the 2017 season. The 32-year-old rookie is the third Rangers’ reliever in the last two seasons to make his MLB debut at 30+ years of age. The other two? Matt Bush and...
3. Tony Barnette, who began his rehab assignment last night in Nashville as he returns from a finger sprain he suffered at the hands of a car door. Barnette threw one inning, walking one, striking out one, and allowing no hits or runs. He is scheduled to have the night off tonight and pitch again tomorrow.
4. Elvis Andrus went hitless in last night’s win. That’s notable because it’s only the second time Andrus has gone hitless in a game in Cleveland. The other 31 games, he got at least one hit, to the tune of a .409 batting average and a 1.066 OPS. That’s his highest batting in any park–even National League parks with the potential for some small-sample-size magic–and it’s not even particularly close (.333 in five different NL parks, and .323 in Anaheim, which also sports the second-highest OPS at .822)
Interestingly enough, Andrus’ first career plate appearance was against Cleveland on April 6th, 2009 (though it was in Arlington). He led off his career with a double off none other than Cliff Lee.
5. It’s Yuesday! It will be interesting to see tonight if Darvish really turned a corner in his last outing, or just had an exceptionally good night. There’s no question that he is one of the most talented pitchers in the game, but Darvish has a knack for tinkering (some have argued that he does so more than is beneficial). In a game where repetition and muscle memory are paramount, it seems every outing has some slight change or tweak. It’s frustrating when he has a bad outing, but if he has finally captured whatever white whale allows him to pitch like he did in the Bronx, it will all have been worth the wait.
We’re working through Sarah Jaffe’s discography this week in the Daily. Yesterday, we listened to Suburban Nature. Today, we’re listening to “Even Born Again”. It starts in the same sparse soundscape as SN, but on first listen, sounds a little more bleak. “I guess I have to warn you, I might die for a day / and I think about it so much until it finds itself gray / til we’ve argued every politic and burned in third degree / I’ll feel like the ghost in your tragedy” she emotes in “Adeline” before gearing up into a deep-South stomp on “Under”. I think SN might have one or two songs that outshine anything on EBA, but this feels like a more complete record.
(Spotify, Apple Music, Website)
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