If you feel like we just saw these guys, you're right. The Mariners played three games in Dallas-Ft. Worth July 30th-August 1st and lost two of them, both in frustrating walkoff fashion after heading into the inning with the lead. The M's hope to avoid anything resembling a repeat of that performance here at home for this three-game set; the Rangers are, of course, the second-worst team in the Majors whose only source of pride is, "hey, at least we're not the Diamondbacks." Texas is especially bad on the road—they're 30 games under .500 away from the DFW metroplex, including a 1-6 mark thus far in Seattle.
Since the M's left Texas, the Rangers won their next game against the Angels and then proceeded to revert to form, dropping six in a row during which they were outscored 41-11. No one on the squad is hitting right now—except for first baseman Nate Lowe, no Ranger even has a .300+ on-base mark, let alone a decent batting average (Isaiah Kiner-Falefa tops that list at .258). And the pitching? Since they traded away All-Star Kyle Gibson and closer Ian Kennedy, the Rangers are trying to make do with a collection of 5.00+ ERAs (with a very few exceptions). This is a bad team.
Texas is slated to start left-hander Kolby Allard in the series opener, then Spencer Patton Wednesday night and Mike Foltynewicz on Thursday afternoon. Allard has made three starts against Seattle this year already, and the M's have handed him two losses in scoring 10 runs off of him in as many innings. Patton has been a reliever until now, this will be his first big-league start; he made two brief relief appearances against the M's earlier in the season. As the most he's thrown in a game this year is two innings, he figures to merely be the first in a series of bullpen arms to pitch on Wednesday rather than display a typical starting effort. Foltynewicz, despite his truly ugly numbers (2-10, 5.77 ERA), tends to be decent when facing the Mariners; though he's 0-2 vs. Seattle this year, his WHIP is under 1.000 over 26 innings (four starts).
Seattle will counter with rookie Logan Gilbert, who will be facing the Rangers for the third time (1-0, 6 ER, 111⁄3 IP); Tyler Anderson, who drew a no-decision against Texas in his first game as a Mariner on July 31st and has had his relief blow leads for him in both of his Mariner starts; and Marco Gonzales, who had the worst game of his season against Texas on July 3rd (31⁄3 IP, 7 ER, 2 BB, 3 HR) as well as one of his best of the year on August 1st (6 IP, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K).
|vs. AL West||17-33|
Who’s Hot & Not
Last ten games
.262/.262/.429, 4 XBH, 4 RBI
.179/.200/.179, 8 Ks
.167/.276/.292, 6 Ks
.128/.150/.436, 10 Ks
Last 3 series vs. Seattle
|8/1/21||TEX 4, SEA 3|
|7/31/21||TEX 5, SEA 4|
|7/30/21||SEA 9, TEX 5|
|7/4/21||SEA 4, TEX 1|
|7/3/21||TEX 7, SEA 3|
|7/2/21||SEA 5, TEX 4|
|5/30/21||SEA 4, TEX 2|
|5/29/21||SEA 3, TEX 2|
|5/28/21||SEA 3, TEX 2|
|5/27/21||SEA 5, TEX 0|
Chris Woodward: Formerly a Mariners coach (2014-2015), Woodward is in his third season as a big-league manager. He was third-base coach for the Dodgers from 2016-18 under Dave Martínez, giving him valuable experience on a pennant-winner. Woodward is considered to be a big improvement over the Rangers' previous skipper, Jeff Banister, by the Dallas faithful; Woodward is thought to give more thought to in-game strategic decision-making than Banister did, with more understanding of modern analytics.
Woodward also played briefly for Seattle, suiting up for 28 games as a Mariner in 2009-2010. He batted .221/.284/.244 as a utility infielder.
Don Wakamatsu: Though no current Ranger players have history with the Mariners, the coaching staff does. Not only is manager Woodward an ex-Mariner coach, bench coach Wakamatsu is an ex-Mariner manager. Wak managed the M's to a winning record in 2009 (85-77), then was fired in midseason 2010 after some dustups with players. Though respected generally around baseball, the M's in 2010, on their way to a 101-loss campaign, were a grumpy bunch and Wak seemed to be unable to corral the egos of that clubhouse; then-general-manager Jack Zduriencik opted to can the manager and most of the coaching staff as his remedy to the situation. He's been on several teams' coaching staffs since then, but aside from filling in for ten games at the end of 2018 for Texas, he's yet to be asked to manage again.
|Texas Rangers||(1972 - present)|
|League Champions:||2010, 2011|
|Division Titles:||1996, 1998, 1999, 2015, 2016|
Globe Life Field: The Rangers' new ballpark (opened last season) will forever be an oddity in baseball as the first games with fans in attendance did not involve the Texas Rangers; the facility was used as a neutral site for the National League playoffs and the World Series in 2020.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa: Quick, who won the AL Gold Glove at third base last year? Nope, not Chapman, this guy. And he follows that up by shifting positions. Now Texas' everyday shortstop, Kiner-Falefa played yet another position in 2019—catcher. He wasn't a standout receiver, but plenty competent and now is looking to prove he can pick it at short with the best of the best. "I'm an elite shortstop, and I'm ready to prove it," he said in spring training and he's backing it up. At this writing, Kiner-Falefa is second only to the Mariners' J.P. Crawford in the sabermetric stat DWAR (Defensive Wins Above Replacement) and has a best-in-the-AL range factor among shortstops (4.44).