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‘You’ve just got to play better.’ Texas Rangers see road losing streak reach 10.

May 29, 2021
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A 30-second panoramic tour of the crowd at Globe Life Field Follow the camera as it captures the sellout crowd Monday at Globe Life Field for the Texas Rangers 2021 home opener. By Jeff Wilson captions and subtitles off, selected Follow the camera as it captures the sellout crowd […]

Click here to view original web page at www.star-telegram.com


A 30-second panoramic tour of the crowd at Globe Life Field

Follow the camera as it captures the sellout crowd Monday at Globe Life Field for the Texas Rangers 2021 home opener. By Jeff Wilson
  • captions and subtitles off, selected
Follow the camera as it captures the sellout crowd Monday at Globe Life Field for the Texas Rangers 2021 home opener. By Jeff Wilson

Here’s the thing about a game at T-Mobile Park in Seattle: It’s never warm.

The warmest it can get inside that ballpark is chilly, and that’s usually in July and August. The wind, it seems, is always blowing in.

T-Mobile Park is one of the nicest in baseball. It’s always struck me as exceptionally clean, which can’t necessarily be said about downtown Seattle. The press box is enormous.

And chilly.

The Star-Telegram isn’t there this weekend as we await player access to improve beyond Zoom calls. Hopefully that happens no later than the All-Star break, with more than half of MLB’s team 85% vaccinated and most writers vaccinated as well.

A sport that needs it stories told should understand that.

Speaking of stories, here’s some Texas Rangers Reaction from a 3-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners.

10 straight road losses

Of all the things that have added up to the Rangers losing 10 straight on the road and 10 straight at Seattle, one thing can solve all those woes.

“Every one of our guys has to look at themselves in the mirror and say, ‘We’re not doing enough to win baseball games,’” manager Chris Woodward said. “There’s no other formula. You’ve just got to play better.”

The big gaffe Friday night was a base-running mistake by Jose Trevino in the fifth inning.

The Rangers opened the frame with three straight singles, the second by Trevino, and the third drove in Charlie Culberson. Trevino, though, was caught too far off of third baseman and was caught in a rundown for the first out of the inning.

Rather than having runners on first and second with no outs, the Rangers had only Isiah Kiner-Falefa at first with one out.

“We had three hits in a row and somehow ended up with one out,” Woodward said. “To give them an out right there gave them some momentum go get out of the inning.”

The Rangers have had some bad luck, hitting balls hard but right at defenders. But they were missing fastballs in the strike zone late, albeit against two of the Mariners’ best relievers.

The big hit, the one that will get the Rangers over the hump, has been lacking.

“It just seems to me like every game we can’t put a complete game together,” Woodward said. “We’ve got to endure it, we’ve got to keep battling, and every guy’s got to take it upon himself to come out and play clean baseball.”

Lyles trending positively

Right-hander Jordan Lyles allowed three runs in six innings, which registers as a quality start. He has been better this season than last, when he sported a 7.02 ERA.

His 5.79 ERA so far isn’t great, but it was 7.39 on May 1.

The Rangers are going to let Lyles go deeper in games as long as he’s pitching well. Compared to others in the rotation, he has been more consistent his past five starts.

Lyles struck out eight Mariners, and the two-run homer Kyle Lewis just hit over the right-field wall was a good pitch and some back luck.

Lyles has the chance to make life easier on the bullpen, and the relievers needed a blow after three labor-intensive games to open the road trip.

He also has the chance to turn himself into a potential trading chip at the July 31 deadline. He’s performed in ahead of recent trade deadlines and has been moved.

The Rangers aren’t going to get a team’s top-five or top-10 prospect. But getting something for Lyles rather than letting him walk into free agency is better than nothing.

Lyles, though, has to stay consistent. That seems like a stretch after watching him last season, but he’s trending the right way as May ends.

Gallo gets going?

A four-game hitting streak is nothing to write home about, but Joey Gallo will take it. He doubled off the center-field wall in the fourth inning, giving him an extra-base hit in three straight games.

Many in the media have tried to figure out Gallo, Star-Telegram writers included, and have been about as successful as Rangers coaches, numbers gurus and front-office officials. Nearly everyone has a theory.

But, as hitting coach Luis Ortiz said last week, Gallo needs to figure out the kind of hitter he wants to be.

At times he wants to be the hitter who does damage, who doesn’t shorten up, who ignores that gaping open space on the left side of the infield. Occasionally, Gallo will drop a bunt to exploit the defensive shift that created the hole or try to guild the ball into left field.

He has a very good eye at the plate, but has been seeing more strikes lately and has been missing them.

He is young, but he’s not inexperienced.

The fact is that Gallo is unique. There’s no player like him in baseball.

This might be who he is, talented but wildly inconsistent.

The Rangers have more than 100 games remaining, so, unlike last season, there is time for Gallo to start putting more balls in play. He might. He showed in 2019 what he can do when it all comes together.

It’s up to him to figure it out.

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