Texas Rangers: How Did They Sweep The Tampa Bay Rays?

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 23: Rougned Odor
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 23: Rougned Odor /

The Texas Rangers wrap up their road trip with a surprising sweeping of the Tampa Bay Rays. After suffering a sweeping at the hands of a mediocre Baltimore Orioles team, Texas knew they needed to win this series at all costs. As a result, Texas is 17 games behind first place but remains in fourth in the American League West standings.

This entire series is a miracle for the Texas Rangers. In all three games, Texas came from behind to win. For the first time this season, Texas wins three straight games with a one-run difference. Last season, Texas excelled at winning games by just one run.

Let’s discuss their performance in the series finale. Like game two, Texas came back from a three-run deficit.

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Here’s how they did in game three;

Tyson Ross took the mound, hoping to avoid a performance similar to the one he had in Baltimore, where he allowed six runs in the first inning. He pitched 3.2 innings, allowing four hits, five runs, and striking out five batters, earning a no-decision. Another bad outing for him, but this time there was more concentration. In any case, he needs to keep it up.

Tony Barnette relieved Ross in the fourth inning. He pitched 2.1 innings, allowing one hit, no runs, and striking out a season-high four batters, which ties a career-high, as well. Barnette has multiple strikeouts in four consecutive games now.

Matt Bush relieved Barnette, hoping to avenge his embarrassing relief duty against Baltimore. He pitched 1.0 innings, allowing one hit, no runs, and striking out one batter, earning the victory improving to 3-4.  Jason Grilli then entered, pitching 1.0 innings, allowing no hits, no runs, and striking out one batter, earning his second hold.

Jose Leclerc closed the game, allowing no hits, no runs, and striking out two batters, earning his second save.

The offense finished 8-for-34, striking out 12 times. Three players had multiple strikeouts.  Shin-Soo Choo’s five-game hitting streak ends. Rougned Odor’s hitting streak improves to three and he has his third multi home run game of the season and he has 19 homers this season. Elvis Andrus’ two-game hitting streak is over. Nomar Mazara’s hitting streak increases to six. With his three-game hitting streak ending yesterday, Carlos Gomez goes 2-for-4, including the game-winning home run. Adrian Beltre’s now on a five-game hitting streak and going 2-for-5 today, he’s eleven hits away from reaching 3,000. Going 0-for-3, Mike Napoli is now on a three-game hitless streak. Going 2-for-4, including one home run, Gallo has his first multi-hit game since June 21st.

So how did they manage to sweep Tampa after being swept by Baltimore? First and foremost, the Rangers were more focused than they were in Baltimore. Furthermore, they found a way to stay focused, despite falling behind. In game one, Texas entered the ninth trailing 3-1, but tied the game, and with consistent pitching to hold off Tampa, they won 4-3 in ten innings. Overall, the pitching’s consistency and concentration is a key role in this miraculous sweeping. At times, pitching played a little sloppy, except this time, they didn’t let those miscues get the better of them. In other words, as mentioned earlier, pitching stay focused as did the fielding. The bats going 20-for-102 in this series is not convincing. Thanks to the pitching’s spectacular consistency, it was enough.

The point is that the Texas Rangers were focused and were concentrating on the future instead of the past. In other words, they didn’t let their bad series in Baltimore affect them. In this series, everybody did their job and this is how you win in baseball.

The Rangers are now heading home. Tomorrow they start a three-game series against the Miami Marlins.