The Rangers’ record in one-run games is currently headed toward being both frightening and historic. By rallying from behind, gaining the lead in the ninth inning, and then losing 5-4 on a walk-off sacrifice fly, they added to the misery on Tuesday.
The Rangers weren’t even able to be saved by a replay review, which focused on two separate aspects of the game-winning play. They have now dropped five straight against Seattle and are at 5-23 (.179) in one-run games. According to Baseball-Reference, Arizona’s.244 winning % in one-run games last season was the poorest in the 60 years of the 162-game era. Kole Calhoun, who was also on that team, is poor.
The defeat pushed the Rangers to 42-52, their first 10-game losing streak of the year. They are now getting close to the two-year mark since their last day above.500. If you’re keeping track, it’s August 15.
Undoubtedly, everything sounds extremely disheartening.
But manager Chris Woodward, who has repeatedly been held accountable for how the Rangers lost a one-run game, insists grimly: Despite how painful everything is, it will end up benefiting the Rangers. How else could you possibly approach it, really?
“We had a tough one last night and an even tougher one tonight,” Woodward said. “But we are going to learn from it.”
He’s said it more than once this year.
But the question now is, how do the Rangers keep the number of one-run losses from becoming so demoralizing they can’t see the trees of learning through the forest of opponents’ walk-off celebrations?
“If we keep fighting, we will learn from it,” Woodward said. “I’m proud of a lot of things our guys did tonight. I believe in them. I believe in their fight. They show up every day ready to fight. They pour so much into every game. I respect the hell out of that.”
Yes, there were times on Tuesday when it appeared the Rangers hadn’t been entirely destroyed by their one-run record. several of them. A two-out, two-run rally that started with Corey Seager’s walk and ended with Adolis Garcia’s jam-shot cue-ball double that landed in the foul territory about 30 feet from the home plate before spinning back over first base and into the outfield helped them come back from two runs down in the eighth to tie the game. At 56 mph, the ball left the bat. They managed two runs.
Leody Taveras’ single on a two-strike pitch gave the Rangers a run in the ninth. He was advanced to second by Nick Solak. He was scored by Ezequiel Duran with a beautiful liner to the right.
After then, the year 2022 occurred. Again.
J.P. Crawford of Seattle led off with his own cue-shot single past an unoccupied third base, and the Rangers over-shifted Cal Raleigh, a right-handed hitter, to the left side. On Brett Martin’s opening pitch, it was obvious that Raleigh was attempting to take advantage of the blank land between first and second. The second pitch was a fastball that was aimed up and in but was placed far away. Raleigh crushed the pitch to the right center for a run-scoring double, which is exactly what you are supposed to do with that kind of pitch.
Raleigh was then advanced to third by the Mariners with their own sacrifice bunt. After two intentional walks in a row, Carlos Santana hit a ball to the left-center field. Taveras had some distance to cover to get the ball while playing in the shaded just to the right. Simply put, he didn’t support it strongly enough. The toss was accurate, but Raleigh slid in ahead of it.
Raleigh might have departed too soon, according to the Rangers’ throw back to third base. That was appealed. Additionally, they requested that the umpires see the action again at their home.