The Rangers Hope to Climb Back Up After Being Knocked Down. This is the first season in the modern era of Major League Baseball in which all teams face each other. A simple method to increase the national allure of a primarily regional sport is long overdue. However, a few of the pairings are still a little odd.
Consider the Mets’ homestand against the Los Angeles, Texas Rangers, and Seattle Mariners. The Mets may have given up on the pennant race a month ago, but the American League West team in Flushing is thriving.
Rangers manager Bruce Bochy, who has seen a few races, said, “Hey, you’re past those dog days.” Approximately thirty activities are available.
The Rangers held at least a share of first place for 140 days before suffering their ninth loss in 10 games on Sunday. The Mariners, baseball’s strongest team since the beginning of July, have surpassed Texas for the division lead, with the defending champion Houston Astros in close pursuit.
“We were in first place for many months — it’s good that this happened to us,” said Martin Pérez, who defeated the Mets in relief during Monday’s 4-3 victory for Texas. “When you look down, you must rise again.”
Before this week, the Mets had already impacted the American League West standings by trading Max Scherzer to the Rangers and Justin Verlander to the Astros before the August 1 trade deadline. In their first five starts, they have combined for a 7-2 record and a 2.72 earned run average.
The Mets will not play the Astros again, but on Monday, they greeted Scherzer’s return with a video tribute. Scherzer, who grinned for the scoreboard camera after the pitch, did his job for the Mets but never expected to leave it unfinished. He was 20-9 for the team and was under contract until 2024.
Scherzer reaffirmed that he waived the clause because the Mets persisted in lowering their short-term goals. He said he appreciated the honesty of owner Steven A. Cohen and general manager Billy Eppler, who acquired a top infield prospect from Texas in the trade, Luisangelo Acua.
Conversely, nothing is preventing Cohen from changing course. With Aaron Nola, Blake Snell, and Julio Uras available as free agents, would anyone be surprised if he probed the market for starting pitchers this winter? Specifically, would Scherzer be surprised?
“I don’t know,” he responded. “I’m not going to speculate on that.”
Scherzer has moved on and is now attempting to accomplish with Texas what he did with the Washington Nationals: earn the franchise’s first World Series championship. The Rangers have lost twice — to Bochy’s San Francisco Giants in 2010 and to the St. Louis Cardinals the following season — and have made significant investments since their 102-loss season in 2021.
Before last season, the middle infielders Corey Seager and Marcus Semien inked for a combined $500 million; both have been outstanding. And when December’s free-agent treasures were injured — Jacob deGrom underwent Tommy John surgery in June, and Nathan Eovaldi has missed six weeks with a forearm strain — the Rangers acquired Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery via trade.
“To see the commitment — the first off-season for bats and the second off-season for arms — it’s encouraging as a player in my position to have been a part of the bad team and now be a part of the good team,” said Texas first baseman Nathaniel Lowe, whose two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning was the difference in Monday’s game.
“When I was traded, I thought, ‘I’ve never seen a higher team,'” Scherzer said. “We won eight consecutive games, and we were dominating our opponents. Then, all of a sudden, we went on an eight-game losing streak, and we were getting dominated. In baseball, you are never as lofty as you believe you are and never as low as you believe you are. We’ve reached a point where it’s time to determine who we are.
The Rangers will play only American League opponents in September and will face the Mariners seven times in their final ten games. Until then, the Rangers hope to build on victories like Monday’s, their first of the season in which they led after eight innings and still prevailed.
Bochy suggested that matters could be considerably worse. With a record of 74-57, the Rangers have already won more games than they did all of last season, and they still have two games remaining against the declining Mets.
“If you compare where we are this year to where the club was last year, which do you prefer?” Boncy stated. Therefore, you must appreciate this. This is the reason we enjoy the game.”