Another entry into the Baseball Makes No Sense category: this team has had sixteen double-digit games, but has also been shutout five times already this season. (Last year, they were shutout only three times all season.)
Baseball is so unpredictable. A team that is averaging 6.3 runs per game got shutout 1-0.
But, that’s what makes baseball so great. In one game last night, Marcus Semien snapped his twenty-five-game hitting streak. The Rangers snapped their five-game winning streak. The Cardinals snapped their five-game losing streak.
It was a weird game that started with a weird lineup. A manager usually sits a regular or two to give them a day off. But four? And with no game today, that’s two off days. Adolis Garcia sat. And Mitch Garver sat. And Ezequiel Duran sat. And Leody Taveras sat.
Sure, that left Semien, Seager, Lowe, Jung, and Heim. And that enough should score a run. But, it didn’t happen. The usual slugfest Rangers fans have been accustomed to turned into a good, old-fashioned pitching duel. Which is just as fun baseball.
Jack Flaherty versus Jon Gray. Flaherty allowed three hits in six innings. Gray, four in nine. One of those four, unfortunately, went over the wall. A complete game, four-hit, one-earned-run loss. Gray became the first Ranger to get a throw a complete game and lose since Cliff Lee back in 2010.
You want to see an even stranger list? Here are the pitchers, in major league history, to pitch a complete game, not walk a single batter, strike out ten more batters, and lose:
Cy Young, 1904.
James Shields, 2012
Jon Gray, 2023
When you are on a list with Cy Young, and you did something last accomplished by your team in 2010, the year it went to a World Series, maybe the stars are lining up.
Maybe last night’s loss was just the cosmic tumblers of the baseball gods lining things up for the 2023 Rangers.