By: Nicholas Gilanfar
Ahead of the highly anticipated first postseason game in Globe Life Field history, the Rangers were relieved to see home turf after spending 15 days on the road. With a trip to the ALCS on the line, Ranger Nation showed out as the Texas Rangers propelled to a 7-1 victory in front of the Rangers faithful to move onto the ALCS.
This will be the Rangers’ first ALCS since 2011 where they ended up winning the series and then evidently losing the World Series. After the back-to-back World Series losses in 2010 and 2011, the Rangers were forced to embark on a six-year rebuild. It’s safe to say the rebuild is officially over as the Rangers are one series away from the World Series as they have a chance to win the American League Pennant against either the Minnesota Twins or the defending World Series champions Houston Astros.
A positive trend thus far in the postseason has been starting pitching as Ranger’s all-star pitcher Nathan Eovaldi was on the bump yesterday as he pitched seven innings, letting up only five hits and one run and forcing seven strikeouts. The Rangers’ offense was rather overwhelming as well as they struck first and fast with a Corey Seager solo home run in the first inning as well as a five-run inning in the second featured by a three-run home run by Adolis Garcia.
Mound Dominance Continues
Coming off an outstanding start in game two of the wildcard series posting 6.2 innings pitched letting up six hits 1 run and eight Ks Nathan Eovaldi duplicated the stellar performance by punching the Texas Rangers ticket to the ALCS with a dynamic pitching performance. This offseason Nathan Eovaldi signed with Texas after five seasons in Boston.
The initial plan for bringing Eovaldi in was to pitch behind Jacob deGrom as our secondary ace and provide championship pedigree to the clubhouse because he won in 2018 with the Boston Red Sox. Plans changed though, as Jacob deGrom was ruled out for the year undergoing Tommy John surgery Eovaldi was handed the keys for the ace and made the all-star team this season.
Despite Eovaldi’s stellar season for the Rangers he was forced onto the 15-day IL in August for foreman tightness and eventually made his way back to the club in September with no rehab assignment. Because there was no rehab stint, it took Eovaldi a while to get back to his regular workload as they did not see any quality performances from him until the postseason. It’s fortunate Eovaldi is back to his A-game as he was the main factor in the Rangers were able to punch their ticket to the ALCS via the sweep.
The Rangers’ Offense Continues to Punish Baltimore Starters
The young Baltimore starting pitching staff went through the ringer in the ALDS featured with appearances from Kyle Bradish (Game 1), Grayson Rodriguez (Game 2), and Dean Kremer (Game 3). Dean Kremer was the Game 3 starter as it was yet another quick performance being forced out of the game only pitching 1.2 innings, letting up seven hits and six runs. With another lackluster performance from Baltimore pitching the three starters in the ALDS combined for eight innings, 20 hits, and 13 runs.
With Kremer on the mound, it only took two batters to tally the first points on the board as Corey Seager blasted a solo home run to start the scoring marathon at 1-0 in the first inning. The Rangers kept the momentum steady as the Rangers kept moving in the second inning featuring a three-run home from Adolis Garcia as well as a two-run RBI from Mitch Garver to propel the Rangers’ lead to 6-0 After stunning early game heroics, the Orioles had no answers offensively for the remainder of the game only being able to score one run and evidently losing 7-1.
The Texas Rangers coasted through their first two playoff series logging a combined 5-0 record against the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles. With the three-game sweep, the Rangers will have some time off before game one of the ALCS which is on October 15. Opponent-wise, Ranger Nation will be scoreboard-watching for the next couple of days as they will face the winner of the Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins. Houston currently leads the series 2-1 and will clinch an ALCS berth for the seventh straight year with a win in game four. No matter what the outcome is, the ALCS will host game one in either Minnesota or Houston as they are both division winners cementing home-field advantage.