The argument could be made that this recent road trip for the Rangers was looked at as the make-or-break moment for the season. Granted it’s only the first week of June. However, the Rangers got off to such a slow start to the season and couldn’t let things fall any further if they wanted another shot at the postseason.
Three games against the Nationals, followed by a three-game series in Houston against the division-leading Astros, did not look good on paper for Texas going into Friday’s game in the nation’s capital. The Nats are among baseball’s best and might be N.L. favorites to win the pennant.
This is why the game is played on the field, not on paper. For the first two games of the series, the Rangers have walked into Nationals Park and put their feet on the furniture.
It’s been the hitting from the catching position that has played a major part. Jonathan Lucroy had three RBIS’s, including a two-run homer in Friday night’s 5-2 win. Then on Saturday afternoon, Robinson Chirinos was the hometown hero in extra innings, smashing a three-run homer that was the difference-maker in the 6-3 comeback victory.
That “Never Ever Quit” motto appears to be kicking into full play.
After the worry among Rangers Nation that the season may be over before the All-Star break and pieces could start disappearing around the trade deadline, things are starting to get interesting again. There’s still work to be done as the Rangers trail the Astros by 14 games in the A.L. West but are just three games back in the wild card race. Crazier things have happen.
The Rangers go for the unexpected sweep in Washington, D.C. on Sunday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-0, 4.08 ERA) is expected to start for the Rangers. The Nationals will counted with two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (7-3, 2.35 ERA).