The Texas Rangers just continue to be as streaky as ever. They won again on Wednesday night 10-0 and have now won five in a row. They secured their first non-losing season since 2016. They increased their lead over Toronto to 1.5 games in the wild card race. The offense continued their September revival with another game scoring 10 runs or more.
Jordan Montgomery's return to form
The story of the night was Jordan Montgomery. He had his best start as a Texas Ranger on Wednesday night. He pitched seven innings, allowed zero runs, and did not allow a runner to reach second base. His start was reminiscent of Nathan Eovaldi's complete game shutout of the New York Yankees back in April. Eovaldi's start came on the day it was announced that deGrom would be going on the IL for what turned out to be the rest of the season. Montgomery's start came on the day it was announced Scherzer would be going on the IL and would miss the rest of the regular season.
Montgomery came through for Texas in an important way and rebounded from his last two starts where he had he pitched poorly. He said this after the game to the media,
"I just kind of just took it all out there and let it out. It felt good to get a good one. When I locate it, it really protects my offspeed. I don’t have to throw it until they get a read on the sinker.”"- Jordan Montgomery
He was much sharper with his command on Wednesday night. He was not missing as much over the plate and generated a lot of weak contact and fly outs. He had seven fly outs to be exact.
This is the Montgomery Texas will need down the stretch. Bruce Bochy or Chris Young were not able to answer who would step into the rotation in place of Scherzer. One thing Texas will need is for every other starter to be a little better than they have been. The rotation still can be good without Scherzer. They will need Nathan Eovaldi to get fully stretched out, Jon Gray to be sharp with his command, Montgomery to give them length, and Dane Dunning and Andrew Heaney to show off the stuff that has made them successful throughout this season. If Texas can get this from each member of the rotation they can survive the loss of Scherzer and not only make the postseason but make a run once there.
I think we need to remember that the rotation for much of that 40-20 start was Eovaldi, Gray, Perez, Heaney, and Dunning. It feels right that as the season comes to an end the rotation going forward will be Eovaldi, Gray, Dunning, Heaney or Perez, and Montgomery. If the offense continues to produce and Bochy continues to be creative with the bullpen this team will win big. This is who the Texas Rangers will be going forward and it is up to them to determine what the fate of the season will be.
Where do the Texas Rangers stand in the playoff race?
Texas with the win improved to 81-64 and is still in the second wild card spot. They are half a game ahead of Seattle and 1.5 games ahead of Toronto. They are still one game behind Houston for the division lead. Seattle and Houston are both off on Thursday. Texas has a chance to finish off a sweep of the Blue Jays and pick up ground on the Astros increase their lead over the Mariners. According to baseball reference, their playoff odds have improved to 80.4% and according to Fangraphs they are 79.2% to make the playoffs.
The pitching matchup for Thursday's game will be Nathan Eovaldi going up against Kevin Gausman. Eovaldi is still getting stretched out in his third start off the IL. Gausman is the ace of the Blue Jays. The Rangers faced Gausman back in Arlington on June 16th and he won the only game the Jays have against Texas this season. The finale of the series is Thursday night at 6:07pm and will be broadcast locally on Bally Sports Southwest.