Rangers’ secret weapon against Dodgers was a delightful (and needed) surprise

While the Rangers' offense continues to be a work in progress, their pitching staff came up huge for them against LA.
Jun 13, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Texas Rangers relief pitcher David Robertson (37) reacts after striking out Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Mookie Betts (50), designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) and first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) in the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 13, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Texas Rangers relief pitcher David Robertson (37) reacts after striking out Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Mookie Betts (50), designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) and first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) in the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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There was a lot at stake for the Texas Rangers heading into their series with the Dodgers. The Rangers had been scuffling, especially on offense, and the injuries continued to pile up, including Corey Seager's lingering hamstring problem. However, Texas defied the odds and were able to take the series after their 3-1 win in LA on Thursday.

Even without Seager in the lineup, a lot went right for the Rangers on Thursday. Wyatt Langford flashed his game-changing athleticism with a pair of hits, two stolen bases, and two RBI. Josh Smith, Marcus Semien, and Adolis Garcia did good work setting the table at the top of the lineup as well.

However, the Rangers were able to take the series not because of their offense, but because their beleaguered pitching staff stepped up in a big way, which included a pair of sterling performances from Michael Lorenzen and David Robertson.

Lorenzen and Robertson continues Rangers' dominance of the Dodgers offense

It is safe to say that Texas has to be tickled with how well Lorenzen has pitched for them after signing him late in the offseason. Thursday night was no exception, as Lorenzen went seven strong innings and gave up just a single run against an LA lineup that is among the best in baseball. With the outing, Lorenzen has now given up two earned runs or less in his last five starts. The lack of strikeouts could be an issue down the road, but it is hard to argue with his results.

As for Robertson, he proved to be the kryptonite for LA's top hitters as Thursday marked the second straight day that he came out of the bullpen and struck out Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, and Freddie Freeman — an insane feat. Robertson has been fine since the Rangers signed him to a one-year deal last offseason, but his performance against LA gives hope that he could be an anchor for a turnaround this season.

Combining Lorenzen and Robertson's heroics with the bullpen game Texas had to throw on Wednesday (Jon Gray was limited to three innings), the Rangers' pitching staff showed up when they needed them to the most. Just don't look at how the first game of the series went. We'll pretend that one never happened.

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