The Texas Rangers have dealt with tragedy and several setbacks in the first week of July. It seems a stretch of bad news has affected them on the diamond.
It’s been a tough week for the Texas Rangers, and we’re only to Thursday. The club was made aware of terrible news Monday afternoon, the death of Tyler Skaggs, a fellow MLB player. Skaggs, 27, was of course a member of the Los Angeles Angels, who were in Arlington to open up a series that day.
The tragedy sent everyone into shock, including players, coaches, front offices and fans all across the baseball world. Out of respect to Skaggs and all of those effected by his passing, Monday night’s matchup was postponed.
Video: MLB Honors Tyler Skaggs
Texas returned to game action the following night, but one of their top players did not. Hunter Pence was set to make a rehab start at Double-A Frisco, however, a re-aggravation of his groin injury forced him to be scratched from the lineup.
We now know that Pence will miss the 2019 All-Star Game, which is quite the bummer considering he was the top vote getter among nominated American League designated hitters. The 36-year-old made his first All-Star team since 2014. While that accomplishment maintains, it would have been a lot of fun to watch him step to the plate as a starter in the Mid-Summer Classic. He certainly earned that chance.
This also means Pence will not be returning to the Texas Rangers until after the All-Star break. They need him, as the offense has gone quiet, failing to score more than five runs in a game since June 23rd. The team has also lost four of their last five games.
Wednesday afternoon, news broke that reliever Matt Bush tore his UCL and will require Tommy John surgery. He had just returned from a UCL injury less than a month ago, and rumor had it that the Rangers would promote him to the big leagues in a matter of days.
Bush had a 1.04 ERA over 8.2 innings with the Frisco RoughRiders in nine appearances. He would’ve been welcomed with open arms by the Texas relief crew, but unfortunately he’ll now miss the rest of the 2019 season and likely most of the 2020 season.
Further bad news, the Rangers have not played well in the first two games of the series against the Angels. They’ve been outscored 15 to 6, and have seen poor results in practically every facet of the game. Their defense recorded four errors on Tuesday and their six pitchers used in that game combined to allow 11 walks.
Wednesday the Rangers’ offense was held to four hits, none of which came after the 5th inning. The lineup totaled 16 strikeouts, including four from Rougned Odor and three from Joey Gallo. Tim Federowicz, their number nine hitter, accounted for the club’s two runs. He had two hits while the rest of the offense went 2-for-28 at the plate.
Yes, it’s been a tough week for the Texas Rangers. However, four days remain in the week. They have the opportunity to salvage a stretch of bad news by taking the final game of the series vs. the Angels and winning a weekend series against the mighty Minnesota Twins before the break. Texas has fallen to third place in the AL West behind the Astros and Athletics, though they remain only 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot.