The Texas Rangers brought an end to their longest losing streak of the season by beating the New York Yankees 5-2 in front of a near-sellout crowd in Arlington. The story of the game though is not the win although it was a big win, it is the fact Jacob deGrom once again was removed from a start early. The Rangers persevered through their ace leaving the mound early and won by scoring five runs in the first three innings of the game. The bullpen shut the door on this game and left it shut. Let's talk about deGrom and how he pitched through three innings, what his injury is, and how the Rangers were still able to win the game.
Jacob deGrom's Frustrating Brilliance
deGrom came into tonight coming off a brilliant six inning start against the Oakland A's that saw him strike out 11. He had rebounded from his previous start when he left early due to wrist soreness. Tonight he was looking like himself. Through three innings he had retired everyone he faced on less than 30 pitches. He had the type of pitch count that complete games are made of. The Yankees were already missing Aaron Judge with a hip injury and Giancarlo Stanton. It was primed for deGrom to save the bullpen and go the distance tonight.
Then the fourth inning came. It started off innocently enough with a ground out of DJ LeMahieu. Then deGrom walked Anthony Rizzo. It was deGrom's fourth walk of the season. Gleyber Torres flew out to right field. Then Willie Calhoun lined an opposite field single for the first hit of the game for the Yankees. It was at this point that deGrom slowly walked off the mound and then around the mound. He called for a trainer to come out. Mike Maddux then came out to talk it over with deGrom. Maddux then signaled to Bochy. Bochy then came out and the entire time deGrom was looking face down at the ground not noticeably saying much of anything.
After the game Bochy in his postgame press conference said that he was complaining of forearm tightness. That is not good. He will be reevaluated tomorrow. That does not sound like something he will be able to pitch with again in five days. It would appear that an IL trip is likely coming for deGrom. If to just get him rest and to make sure this injury does not turn into a more serious injury that requires significant surgery and time missed. None of this good.
I will still say for those Mets fans out there that the Rangers knew what they were getting themselves into and would likely still sign deGrom because the Rangers needed pitching. They needed an ace to help lead this rotation. Hopefully he does not miss a significant period of time as he has been everything the Rangers could hope he would when he has been on the mound.
The Rangers still won the game
I know there will be doom and gloom about deGrom over the next 24 hours as we wait to hear how significant the injury is. The Rangers did win the game. They jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and then a combination of Dane Dunning, Jonathan Hernandez, and Will Smith carried the Rangers to a victory to end the four game losing streak.
Dane Dunning last season was a much maligned starter for the Rangers. He was someone who really struggled in his second season in the rotation. He has found himself in this long-man role. He has arguably been the most valuable member of this bullpen. He has saved the bullpen on numerous occasions already through just the first month of the season.It has been remarkable to watch his development in this role. He has been so good in this role that I am wondering if deGrom does miss time if the Rangers turn to Cole Ragans to start and keep Dunning in his bullpen role supporting everyone else. I just hate to see them ruin a good thing and right now Dunning is the best thing coming out of that bullpen.
The other star player of the night was Robbie freaking Grossman. He had his best game of the season tonight. He had a big two-run home run in the third to make it 5-0. He also had two doubles in this game. He finished 3-4 with two RBI's, two runs, and has now improved his batting average to .246. He has been playing much better lately. In his last seven games he has a .400 batting average, with two home runs, and seven RBI's. He seems to have figured out whatever was causing him to struggle through much of April.
I want to repeat this again the Texas Rangers did win 5-2. They improved their record to 15-11 and are now back in sole possession of first place. They are one full game ahead of Houston as the Astros lost to the Phillies tonight in a World Series rematch.
The game tomorrow will start at 6:05pm in game three of this four game series. It will be Nathan Eovaldi going up against Jhony Brito at Globe Life Field.
Eovaldi is coming off a quality start against the Reds that saw him go six innings, give up three runs with, seven strikeouts, and one walk. He was in line to get the win, but the bullpen blew a late lead. He will be looking for his third win of the season.
Brito is a rookie for the Yankees who will be making the sixth start of his career. He is 2-2 on the season with a 6.11 ERA. His last start was against the Minnesota Twins and he went 2.2 innings, giving up three runs, walked three, and struck out one. HIs best start was his debut start against the Giants where he went five innings, gave up no runs, on two hits, struck out six, and walked one.
The game starts at 6:05pm and will be broadcast by Bally Sports Southwest.