What the sweep over Houston says about the Texas Rangers culture

David Esser
May 21, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers center fielder Adolis Garcia (53) hits a walk-off three run home run during the tenth inning to defeat the Houston Astros at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers center fielder Adolis Garcia (53) hits a walk-off three run home run during the tenth inning to defeat the Houston Astros at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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Prior to this weekend’s sweep over the Houston Astros, things weren’t looking too hot for the Texas Rangers. They had lost three straight series (Astros, Giants, Yankees), and were coming off a particularly frustrating set of games against New York.

They got no-hit by Corey Kluber in his return to Texas, and were shutout the following afternoon as well. With trade rumors starting to spiral around the likes of Joey Gallo as well, there was at least some sense that the Rangers could be heading down a rather frustrating path here in 2021. While it’s common knowledge that Texas is still “rebuilding” at the moment, there’s been a hope amongst the fanbase that the team could start showing flashes of being closer to contention.

In years past, the Ranger have looked rather lifeless at times. With fans fully back in attendance this season, all people have really been asking for is competition on a regular basis.

Right on cue, the Texas Rangers showed up with a resounding 3-0 sweep over the Astros at home, a sweep that included a healthy number of theatrics and plays worth getting excited about.

The Texas Rangers proved their desire to compete this past weekend.

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Game one of the series showcased yet another strong outing from the likes of Kyle Gibson, a player who continues to live up to his newfound “Ace” title. The veteran right-hander gave the Rangers 6.0 innings of one-run ball on Friday, keeping the Astros’ offense-heavy lineup at bay for the majority of the game.

Houston was ultimately able to claw back towards the end of the game, but it didn’t matter as Adols Garcia walked things off with a 3-run blast in the bottom of the 10th.

Saturday was a more resounding win for the Rangers, as they walked away with an 8-4 victory. Jordan Lyles gave the team a quality start on the mound, and Garcia one again played the role of “hero” as he added two more home runs to his total. Isiah Kiner-Falefa also recorded a three-hit performance, as he continues to have a really strong 2021 season.

In dramatic fashion once more, the Texas Rangers secured the series sweep on Sunday by yet another walk-off via the bat of Adolis Garcia. An infield single that Jose Altuve was unable to field cleanly, the 10th inning knock was just enough to earn Texas the victory. Mike Foltynewicz also had his best outing of the season by a landslide, going 7.0 scoreless while only allowing five total baserunners.

This past weekend’s sweep doesn’t really change the course of the Rangers’ 2021 season all that much in the grand scheme of things. They’re still below .500, and are almost certainly going to be “sellers” at this year’s trade deadline. However, the team is collectively starting to show a level of fight and competitiveness that we haven’t seen in quite some time now.

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Riding on the back of newfound star Adolis “El Bombi” Garcia, the Rangers are starting to show flashes of nearing contention. A “winning culture” goes beyond the win-loss column, it extends into the fibers that make up a clubhouse. At least this past weekend, you started to see a ball club that doesn’t intend on “punting the season” anytime soon.

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