Texas Rangers avoid a hangover as Garcia powers the Rangers to a split in the series
The movie The Hangover came out in 2009 and it is about a group of guys who wake up hungover after a night of partying and they have to spend the rest of the movie figuring out what happened the night before. Friday night the Rangers lost 5-4 against the Oakland A's. Friday night's game featured Jon Gray losing his command mid-start, Bruce Bochy making questionable managerial decisions, and the middle of the order failing to come through in the eighth inning. It would have been easy for this team to be hungover and let it affect tonight's game.
Adolis Garcia played the role of Bradley Cooper in tonight's game and made sure that did not happen. Garcia had one of the best games in Rangers history tonight. He went 5-5, three home runs, two doubles, eight RBI's, and five runs scored. He was a one-man wrecking crew tonight against Oakland. Lets recap what happened Friday night and how the team won last night 18-3.
Jon Gray Loses Command
Jon Gray was the starter on Friday night. He started to lose it in the fourth. He led off the inning with a walk. Jonah Heim though was able to limit the damage as he picked off Ryan Noda at first. Gray followed that pick off with another walk, this time of Brent Rooker. He would score the A's first run on a double play grounder that was not quite turned in time.
He completely lost it in the fifth inning. He gave up a leadoff home run to Tony Kemp to make it 4-2. Kevin Smith then reached second on a throwing error by Josh Jung. Gray still struggling with his command threw a wild pitch that allowed Smith to score.
Questionable Managerial Decisions
Gray was brought back for the sixth inning. This was Bochy's first questionable managerial decision.
Gray picked up where he left off in the fifth inning. He gave up a single to Connor Capel, then a wild pitch to move Capel to second, and then he hit Shea Langeliers.
Thankfully he was able to get Kemp to fly out. Finally, Bochy came out to get him. Gray admitted after the game that he was really "battling himself" last night that his mechanics felt "herky jerky" on the mound. He said this in his postgame press conference
"Today, I was trying to tighten everything up, and it was a mess. So I just need to let my upper half relax and tie it to the bottom half, and that's really it."- Jon Gray
He ended up going 5.1 innings, five walks, two strikeouts, and three earned runs allowed. He left with the score 4-3.
Jonathan Hernandez was brought into the game. He allowed a hard ground ball in-between third and short and the ball deflected off the glove of Josh Jung into shallow left field that allowed Capel to come around from second and score the tying run.
The offense remained flat through the late innings. Then in the ninth Jonah Heim led off the inning with a walk and instead of being lifted for a pinch runner he remained at first. Josh Smith was then brought in for Ezequiel Duran. It was the second questionable managerial decision.
Duran at that point had nearly as many hits in the last three games as Josh Smith had all season. Since it was a right-handed pitcher on the mound Bochy opted for lefty-hitting Josh Smith. Predictably Josh Smith beat the ball into the ground for a double-play grounder. Jankowski followed that up with another ground ball and that was it.
Lack of Timely Hitting
The argument can be made that the Rangers did not lose this game in the sixth or in the ninth but in the eighth inning. The score was still tied 4-4 as the Rangers came to bat in the eighth. If they could score one run they could go to the ninth with a chance to close it out and walk away with a one run win.
It looked like things might be heading that way especially after Marcus Semien led of the inning with a walk and Robbie Grossman then hit a single to move him to second. There were no outs and the middle of the order coming up just needing one hit to push the go-ahead run across the plate.
Lowe, Garcia, and Jung came to the plate and none of them were able to come through with that go-ahead hit. Lowe lined out to left, Garcia popped up to first, and Jung struck out. Jordan Diaz proceeded to hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth leading to the Rangers loss.
. That led to last night's game and the Rangers were looking for redemption from the effort they put out on the field on Friday night. Andrew Heaney got the start and immediately got the Rangers into trouble. Five batters into the game and Oakland had already scored two runs off two hits, a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and a sac fly. One of the key plays in the game though happened after that. Heaney got Aledmys Diaz to ground into a double play to end the inning and keep the score 2-0.
That would be the only runs that Heaney would allow the rest of his night. He went six innings in this game. He only gave up three more hits after the first innings, struck out four, and walked two. It was a very impressive rebound from a rocky first inning.
The Rangers would make sure the two runs would hold up. Garcia hit his first home run in the bottom of the first that tied the game. They ended up scoring 11 runs in the first three innings. That included a couple of run scoring hits from Marcus Semien, RBI hits from Josh Jung, Nathaniel Lowe, and Jonah Heim, and another home run from Adolis Garcia to cap of the 11 run scoring spree.
The Rangers tacked on seven more runs. Garcia hit his third home run of the game in the fifth inning and then added a two run double in the seventh. Garcia would add another double in the ninth but it did not score a run. He finished with eight RBI's on the night. Here is a highlight reel of his night.
Garcia fell one RBI short of tying Pudge Rodriguez for most in a single game. Rodriguez had his night back in 1999 against Seattle. The 5-5 night will go down as one of the best individual games in Rangers history. This will always be known as the Adolis Garcia game that happened on April 22nd, 2023. A night to remember for the fans in the stadium and those watching at home.
The Rangers improved their record to 13-7 for the best 20 game start since 2013. They also will remain in sole possession of first place in the AL West. Jacob deGrom will pitch in the series finale tomorrow as the Rangers look for their fifth series win of the season. They did not get their fifth series win last season until May 17th when they won a series against the LA Angels.
Tomorrow's game will be Jacob deGrom going up against left-hander Kyle Muller of the A's. The game is 1:35pm and it will be broadcast by Bally Sports Southwest extra.