Lyles has quality start, but Texas Rangers’ woes continue away from home

Logan Lockhart
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - MAY 28: Jordan Lyles #24 of the Texas Rangers reacts after giving up a RBI single to Ty France #23 of the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at T-Mobile Park on May 28, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - MAY 28: Jordan Lyles #24 of the Texas Rangers reacts after giving up a RBI single to Ty France #23 of the Seattle Mariners during the second inning at T-Mobile Park on May 28, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

When Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward entered the ballpark on Friday night in Seattle, the success of his veteran hurler Jordan Lyles could have been seen with more importance than usual.

Coming into Friday’s affair against the Seattle Mariners, the Rangers had lost their last nine games away from Globe Life Field, while missing a number of pieces from their starting rotation due to injury — it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Lyles to build off of the positive momentum from his last two outings.

The right-handed pitcher delivered, but the bats remained relatively quiet, in the aftermath of a 5-0 shutout loss on Thursday night to those same Mariners. Texas (22-31) dropped its fourth game in a row on Friday, falling 3-2 to Seattle.

Road woes continued for the Texas Rangers in Seattle.

Despite out-hitting the Mariners’ lineup 8-6, the Rangers bats fell short in key spots down the stretch, extending their losing streak on the road to 10, while faltering in as many games in a row when playing at T-Mobile Field.

After retiring the side in order in the first inning on Friday night, Lyles allowed three runs over his next five innings of work. Quality-start worthy, and good enough to keep the Rangers’ lineup within striking distance. In a year where it was anticipated that Texas’ staff would act as a team’s achilles heel, the more quality starts that continue to add up, the more encouraging for Woodward.

The recent injuries to Kyle Gibson and Kohei Arihara have put even more of an emphasis on the starts of 30-year old hurler Lyles. While posting a 5.94 ERA in his ten previous appearances prior to Friday, Lyles has maintained his strong command as of late, especially with the fastball. Over his last 18 innings pitched, factoring in his most recent outing in Seattle, Lyles has only walked four batters. Again, more encouragement for Woodward.

Alternative optimism for the Texas Rangers’ staff.

There is no mincing words — the quality start stat does not hold as much merit as it once did. Despite that, the Rangers’ rotation has developed an identity for themselves through the first 50 games of the campaign — work as a committee. Woodward’s utilization of splitting up a game between two different starters or long relievers has slowly faded as the season has gone on.

More from Nolan Writin'

As a result, quality starts will continue to be a simple, yet effective way at analyzing where Texas’ rotation is at. After all, a true, bonafide “ace” is not currently present on the staff — working as a committee becomes just as important, and each and every start that Lyles makes from now until the end of the year will dictate his spot in the organization moving forward.

Anticipation grows for return to Arlington

The classic train of thought in baseball has continued to live on as the years have gone by: Play .500 on the road and win your home slates. The Rangers have held their end of the bargain for the most part, but have faltered away from Arlington since walking into San Francisco on May 10.

Minus Lyles’ most recent home outing against the Houston Astros, the hurler has not allowed more than three runs in a game, with a minimum of five innings pitched, since May 1 against the Boston Red Sox. With the emerging Dane Dunning, a re-energized Mike Foltynewicz, and a close-to returning Kyle Gibson, Lyles’ recent steadiness is only good news for the Rangers’ brass.

Next. Watch Adolis Garcia rob Seattle of a home run. dark

Foltynewicz will look to follow up Lyles’ solid start, when he steps on the mound Saturday in Seattle for the third game of a four-game set in the Pacific Northwest.

facebooktwitterreddit