Rangers Avoid Sweep Against Mariners: 3 Takeaways

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 22: Martin Perez
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 22: Martin Perez /

Texas was able to win game three of three against the Seattle Mariners at home this weekend.

The Rangers dropped the first two games of a three game set with the Mariners but were able to avoid the sweep with a Sunday afternoon win. Here are our three takeaways from the weekend.

Martin Perez Might Have Found His Stride

Martin Perez got the start and the win in game three of this weekends set against the Mariners. Perez, who had struggled mightily in his first few starts this season, bounced back Sunday going 6 strong innings allowing just 2 earned runs on 7 hits. In his first 3 starts, Perez had allowed 18 earned runs in just 12.1 innings and looked like a shell of the pitcher who had been a mainstay in the Rangers rotation for the better part of 5 seasons. The young lefty showed out in a big way Sunday with solid stuff and an ability to pitch out of jams that had led to big innings earlier this season.

Despite this being just one start of four on the season, seeing Perez look this solid helps brighten up the future just a bit. As a pitcher who was expected to be a crucial part of this rotation that wasn’t very deep to begin with, Perez putting in solid starts will help give this team chances to win games that they desperately need.

The Bullpen Has to be Better

Early on this season, it seemed that the Rangers bullpen might actually be a bright spot on this Texas team. Strong performances early in the season even in losses were promising. This weekend, relief pitchers took both losses and nearly cost Texas the third game. Although as a whole, the bullpen was fairly strong, a few poor individual performances were pivotal in the series.

In the first game of the series, the Rangers were locked at 2 headed to the top of the 9th inning when Keone Kela surrendered 3 runs on 3 hits and lasted just a third of an inning before being lifted for Jake Diekman. This late offense by Seattle proved too much to overcome as they scored one more off Diekman and held on for a 6-2 win.

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  • The second game of the series wasn’t any better. Texas led 6-4 headed into the 7th inning where they brought on lefty, Alex Claudio. Claudio did not record an out before being lifted as he gave 4 runs on 4 hits as part of a 5 run Mariners’ inning. Once again Seattle’s big inning spoiled a chance to win with the Rangers falling 9-7 and facing the sweep.

    These two performances are not indicative of the entire bullpen. Really two bad individual outings cost Texas the shot to win big games that could’ve righted the ship. For the Rangers to have any chance at getting out of the cellar in the AL West, they have to have better appearances from their bullpen, specifically their late inning pitchers.

    You Need to Know Isiah  Kiner-Falefa

    The Rangers young infielder has gotten a major opportunity in the big leagues with the injury to Rougned Odor and has impressed wholly in his time. Isiah Kiner-Falefa is just 11 games into his MLB career and has shown the tools Rangers fans were wishing for from a farm system product. Although a minuscule sample size relative to a career, Kiner-Falefa has shown the goods at the plate currently hitting .289  with a .325 on-base percentage. In no way am I saying he’s a future star player, but he passes the eye test when watching him play. He hustles in a way that you don’t oft see established big leaguers hustle. He’s error-less in his time at 2nd base and honestly has be a breath of fresh air in a pretty dismal start to the year. Kiner-Falefa could find himself around the big league roster for awhile and Texas fans should be pretty excited.