After the struggling Chicago White Sox traded off many of their top pitchers and one strong bat in Jake Burger, it was hard for Texas Rangers fans to not think about a sweep. But going into a series with any MLB team with the idea of a sweep is a dangerous thing. The Rangers simply took one game at a time, and in the end came out on top of all three.
They won two close games sandwiched around a blowout win on Wednesday. On Tuesday, while rival Framber Valdez and the Houston Astros were no-hitting the Guardians, Andrew Heaney and the Rangers were spinning a three hitter of their own. The effort was good enough to garner a 2 to 0 victory and get the series and August off on a winning note.
The Rangers' bats erupted on Wednesday as they put up 11 runs in total. With Dylan Cease on the mound for the White Sox, it appeared that it might be a tough matchup. However, Cease struggled, and the Rangers made him pay knocking him out of the game before the end of the second inning. Corey Seager was a late addition to the lineup and made an immediate impact as he belted a two-run home run in first to kick off the scoring.
Texas Rangers new pitcher, Max Scherzer, impresses despite rough start
Yesterday's series finale was a day game that featured one of the Rangers new additions, Max Scherzer. Scherzer was victim of some soft contact, hits along with some command issues early. After giving up three runs in the top of the first inning and then struggling some in the second inning, Scherzer had already amassed 52 pitches through the first two innings. But being the pro that he is, Scherzer composed himself and continued to battle. He would end up going six innings and didn't allow another run after the first inning. It was a gutsy outing by the future Hall of Famer.
Texas Rangers schedule versus the Miami Marlins
Date and Time
Probable Pitcher Rangers
Probable Pitcher Marlins
Fri 4th - 7:05 CT
Jordan Montgomery LHP 6-9, 3.42 ERA, 108 SO
Jesus Luzardo LHP 8-5, 3.38 ERA, 147 SO
Sat 5th - 3:05 CT
Jon Gray RHP 6-5, 3.66 ERA, 89 SO
Sun 6th - 1:35 CT
Andrew Heaney LHP 8-6, 4.36 ERA, 114 SO
Sandy Alcantara RHP 4-9, 4.21 ERA, 118 SO
The Marlins come into Arlington only 1/2 game out in the NL Wild Card race, despite having struggled over the last month. Miami had a dismal July, going 9-15 in the month. They haven't started August out any better, as they have dropped two of three games in the new month.
For the last several years, the Marlins have been known for having solid pitching and a less than terrible offense. This year is no exception. They have scored the second fewest runs in the National League with 450. The Rangers on the other hand, still out pace all other MLB teams, with their 627 runs scored.
Miami GM, Kim Ng, was active at the trade deadline, and was able to add some offensive fire power to the lineup. They added both third baseman Burger, from the White Sox as well as, first baseman Josh Bell from the Guardians. Both are large men (Burger goes 6'2" 230lbs and Bell 6'4" 261) that have plenty of pop. Much like the AL Wild Card race, the NL race is a tough one with many horses in the race. The Marlins did improve their chances though, with the additions that they were able to make.
With the additional offensive firepower to pair with some of their existing players, the Marlins offense shouldn't be taken lightly. The team boasts the best contact hitter in the game these days in Luis Arraez. Arraez is hitting .378 for the season, which is forty points ahead of the second-place hitter, Freddie Freeman (.338). He seems to be able to make contact with just about every pitch that he swings at and is able to perfectly place it where the defense isn't located. Arraez also boasts the lowest strikeout percentage at 5.4%. The only other player under 10% is Keibert Ruiz of the Washington Nationals at 9.3%.
First year Marlins manager, Skip Shumaker, has his team playing well and winning the close games. Unlike the Rangers that have struggled to win one run games this season (7-14), Miami is an astonishing 24-9 for a .727 winning percentage is such contests. When a team has trouble scoring runs, in order to have a good overall record they have to do well in one-run games, and the Marlins have done just that.
The Marlins have favored their home stadium over the road this year. At home, Miami is 34-24, but on the road they are only 24-28. With the Rangers great play at home (37-20), perhaps that will be the difference in this upcoming series of teams battling for a playoff spot.
The series kicks off tonight, at 7:05 CT in Arlington. It will be the first chance for Rangers fans to get a look at new starter Jordan Montgomery as he will take the mound against Jesus Luzardo. It should be a great game, as both lefties have great stuff and know how to pitch. Another series victory would be nice, and it starts with game one tonight.