Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Toronto Edition
The cover image for this article basically sums up the week for the Texas Rangers in a nutshell. To start off the week they traveled up to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays and came away sweeping them in what was a must-win series for Texas. Everyone from Jordan Montgomery to the Rangers offense really focused and played some of their best baseball in a while.
The Rangers outscored the Blue Jays 35-9 in what was a huge momentum gain with the playoffs right around the corner. Evan Carter even got his first career home run which you can watch down below. Things were looking up for the Rangers after finishing the final game in Toronto for the season.
Unfortunately, the Rangers got some bad news while up in Toronto. During his outing on September 12th, Scherzer left the game in the 6th inning with an injury. The next day the Rangers found out that he had low-grade teres major strain and will be out for the remainder of the season and possibly the playoffs, if they make it. Luckily, he will not need surgery and will be ready for the start of next season.
Offense and pitching went missing in Cleveland
However, the momentum that they built up in Toronto went away pretty quickly. In the second half of the week, they got swept by the Cleveland Guardians. That is probably the last thing they wanted to have happen. They had a chance to overtake the AL West again this week and blew it.
It was just like the Texas Rangers said, "We can afford to lose these games, other teams can help us keep our playoff spot." The pitching was horrendous, and the offense decided to take the entire series off during the most important part of the season.
I don't think fans would have minded this if it happened at the beginning of the season. However, we are two weeks away from the end of the regular season. Every game from here on out matters and taking a night off could cost you playing in the month of October.
The game that really frustrated me the most was Saturday's game. The pitching showed up ready to play but the bats decided to take the night off. If the bats would have shown up, they could have easily won that game.
Huge series looming this week
According to the standings after yesterday's games, the Rangers still hold on to the last wildcard spot in the American League right now. The Seattle Mariners are the first team outside the wildcard, one game behind the Rangers. The Mariners will be in Arlington on Friday for a three-game series. I expect that the series will be a drama-filled showdown between two divisional foes.
Wyatt Langford and Jack Leiter promotion
Let's talk about some good news now as we shift our focus to the minor leagues. Two of the Rangers top prospects got promoted this week. Let's start off with Wyatt Langford who is literally a walking supernova right now in the Rangers organization.
I'll have to say I had my doubts about him starting out in the majors next season just because of how young he is. Watching him play in Amarillo this past week has completely changed my mind about where he should start next year.
Take a look at the numbers he has put up since starting his professional career. It's just unreal how good he is at the plate. I got to watch him when he got promoted to Frisco since I live near the area and his patience at the plate is unreal.
I didn't think he would be already at Double-A near the end of the season. Well that all changed yesterday as he got promoted to Round Rock just in time for the playoffs. It was announced that the Rangers would be sending Langford and Jack Leiter to the Round Rock Express as they take on the Tacoma Rainiers this week. This will be a good experience for both players as they will get a taste of the Triple-A level.
It's unknown at this time if Leiter will pitch for the Express in the final series. There might be a possibility he does if the Rangers organization asks the Express to start him. If he doesn't end up pitching for the remainder of the season, Leiter had a very good final outing. He pitched five innings and finished allowing three hits, two runs, and struck out nine batters.
Ever since Leiter has come back from the instructional league in Arizona, he has been a completely different pitcher. His command seems to be better and he's not forcing anything over the middle of the plate. Hopefully, he can continue this turnaround into next season.