Date: Friday, May 5th
Rangers’ Record: 12-17 (last place, 7.0 games behind Houston)
Tonight’s Opponent: Seattle Mariners (13-16)
Tonight’s Starters: Yu Darvish (3-2, 3.03) vs. Yovani Gallardo (1-3, 5.08)
How strange to zoom all the way in from space and see this infinitely tiny planet–the only one with life, so far as we know–covered with people who agree (if you frame the questions just so) on roughly all of the important things. We would like to survive and spend time laughing and crying with the people we love. We would like to not die, at least not yet. We enjoy being entertained, and we are susceptible to beauty. We are proud of the things we create, even if they are not very good; each creation a lesson that helps us either get better or determine that we should be creating other things.
We would like to have food to eat and clean water to drink and a place to lay down at night and rest, feeling like we belong here. We would prefer not to be held to a different standard than others, or imprisoned against our will. We would like to feel secure in the notion that no one is going to be so cruel as to hurt us intentionally for no other reason than to help themselves. We would like to be loved, and we would like to be capable of loving back in a way that does more good than harm. We would like to be happy. On these things, I think, we all agree.
And yet, here we are.
It is a confusing and fractious time, and (for me, anyway) as the real world batters the sides of the ship, baseball begins to vacillate wildly between “very important, need a constant” and “how can I pretend to focus on that right now?”
So I am sorry if today’s Baseball Texas Daily seems fractured or distracted. I suspect that some of the readers will understand, feeling the same way. Others will chide me for having “an agenda”. We all have an agenda, though, don’t we? Isn’t it all of the things I listed above? Aren’t we all getting through this together, whether we realize it or not? I need to believe so.
So perhaps that is why we need baseball. To have a common bridge. To remind us that we can agree on some things. A white ball and green grass and 90 feet and sixty feet, six inches, and a crack of the bat and a smack of the mitt. On these things, I think, we all agree.
1. The Rangers beat the Astros yesterday, and while a 1-3 series against the division leaders isn’t what you hope for, I suppose it beats getting swept.
2. Texas starts a 3-game series in Seattle tonight, and they’ll face old friend Yovani Gallardo. Gallardo hasn’t been brilliant this year, but I’m not sure, if you are looking for Rangers optimism, that we should focus on what has and has not been brilliant this year. Yu Darvish has been, at least in places, though Sam Miller has an interesting article on ESPN about the two minutes per game where Darvish has been legitimately bad.
3. Jurickson Profar made a thrilling play at home plate last night for the Round Rock Express, avoiding the tag and… well, just watch.
4. Carlos Gomez’ catch of Marwin Gonzalez’ bases-loaded low liner yesterday had just a 14% catch probability. It was–according to the new statcast fielding metric–a five-star catch. According to Rangers fans, that is true, regardless of the catch probability. If the season does turn around, I suspect this is not the last time we will talk about this catch.
5. A.J. Griffin returned from the disabled list yesterday and pitched a fine game, allowing just two runs (one earned) in his five innings of work. It is becoming evident that the Rangers plan to use Griffin much like they did Gallardo in 2015: allow him to be effective twice through the order, then bring in the bullpen before things go south. So far, the strategy has been effective for A.J.’s success.
6. In the spirit of getting along with our enemies, I was on the Lookout Landing podcast today.
We have our first music rec of 2017 from regular contributor Tony Barnette. He went waaay back and played the Jim Croce card. “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” was the specific song. You can find it on, ah heck, let’s just link to Jim Croce’s Greatest Hits.
(Spotify, Apple Music, Wikipedia)
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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