Date: Tueday, April 18th
Rangers’ Record: 5-8 (5th, 4.0 games behind Houston)
Tonight’s Opponent: Oakland Athletics
Tonight’s Starters: Yu Darvish (1-1, 2.33) vs. Andrew Triggs (2-0, 0.00)
There is an age-old war between the tempest and the vessel. The question of survival–assuming we are not talking about submarines–is fairly straightforward: is the ship able to maintain its balance on the waves like some floating bullrider atop a snorting, kicking sea, masts pointed toward both the sky and its master like some self-contradicting defiant plea for help. Meanwhile, nature spins and heaves to uncover the hull and swallow the crew. But neither stomping bull nor suffocating sea will sate their chaos with a victory. They will move and churn on to the next ship or the nearest clown, inflicting their anarchy on anyone or anything in their orbit.
But just as the sea cares not for its victims, neither does it feel any shame at the cheers atop the hulls left unturned. Last night, the Rangers ship stayed afloat, its rudder held firmly by a pitcher whose unkempt beard bolsters this metaphor. Lean right when the storm shoves left. Countersteer when the gales threaten. Throw that silly curveball with confidence.
The Rangers season has been a storm thus far, there is no doubt. But last night was a master class in righting the ship. Hopefully the crew will carry on the stabilization tonight.
1. The game story for last night can be found here. The final score was 7-0, and it really was a beautiful outing from A.J. Griffin.
2. Keone Kela is back in the fold. Kela, as you probably remember, was set to be on the Opening Day roster, but was demoted to AAA as a result of an argument of some sort on the team’s final day in Surprise, AZ. Kela’s quotes from last night were in the game story, but they bear repeating here:
“The biggest thing I took away was understanding my lane, understanding my role, and what I need to be the best I can be, not only for myself, but for the guys around me and help the team in the best way I can. You know, there’s a lot of things I need to work on as an individual, and these guys here don’t want to do anything but help me become a better man, on and off the field. I’m gaining more accountability for my actions, and I’m just ready to continue to push forward.”
As to how he was greeted in the clubhouse, Kela affirmed that it was all positive: “With love. Nothing more than that. I walked in and everyone was cheerful to see me, they came up and gave me hugs, and said they were happy to see me back, and i told them the same thing.”
“It was like a family reunion.”
3. It’s Yuesday! But Yuesday has traditionally been celebrated a little differently in Oakland. T.R. Sullivan writes about how Darvish is hoping to change that tonight.
4. Tyson Ross has experienced back spasms, which means his Rangers big-league debut has been set back, likely to somewhere around mid-late May. That was the original plan, really, but Ross had been progressing much faster than expected.
5. Matt Bush is the closer now, sort of. Banister has said that Bush will get first shot, but also added that he didn’t intend to run Bush out there, say, on three consecutive days, especially not after he was just in Arlington getting an injection in his shoulder. “I’m sure there will be a number of guys who will get an opportunity to close games out,” Banister concluded.
You probably know Bishop Briggs from the stomping hit “River” (Come on, you know it: “Like a river // like a river // shut your mouth and love me like a river”). I, on the other hand, know her from another song on her self-titled EP: “Wild Horses” has been on rotation in my house for awhile now. I actually didn’t know it was the same artist until I looked it up today. So here’s a rec for both you and I.
(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 email@example.com or a tweet here.
You can follow Levi Weaver on Twitter at @ThreeTwoEephus, or for fewer puns and more straight-forward Baseball News updates, you can follow us at @BaseballTX, or download the app and get in-game updates and notifications by clicking on the logo below!