Now it gets interesting. The Rangers head to New York to take on the Yankees. And Joey Gallo. And Isiah Kiner-Falefa. And Jose Trevino. With the pitcher they got for Joe Gallo pitching tonight, probably to the catcher they essentially got for Kiner-Falefa.
The Rangers have won four in a row. They Yankees had won eleven in a row until a 2-1 loss to the Blue Jays in their most recent game.
You know Gallo will come in with something to prove. Which means he will be in his head even more than usual. Which means three to four strikeouts per game, with one monster home run. Gallo is red hot offensively right now. Or at least by his Yankee standards. He has gotten a hit in two consecutive games, a rare occurrence for him in pinstripes.
But the biggest chip will be on the shoulder of Kiner-Falefa. He wants to single-handedly ruin the Rangers. He couldn’t understand how the Rangers would trade him. Him, of all people. The guy who had the second-most errors for a shortstop in 2021. The guy who had been a below average offensive producer his entire season.
IKF had the drive and intensity you want in a player. The cockiness, even. What he didn’t have was the results. He was part of the badly needed deforestation the Rangers so desperately needed to undergo.
After getting off to a slow start—he was hitting .174 after eight games—Kiner-Falefa had a really good week to get his numbers respectable. But we have seen this from him before. Then he fades.
But he was bitter about being dealt away to from the Rangers, thinking he was the centerpiece to the franchise. And a bitter player with an axe to grind can do some damage.
The Rangers could really prove something to themselves if they can come in to Yankee Stadium and win two out of three. Or better yet, sweep.