The Texas Rangers have endured a forgettable time over the last week-plus and experienced even greater troubles while playing on the road.
The Rangers have lost eight straight overall and 14 in a row on the road heading into Thursday’s series finale against the Colorado Rockies in Denver.
Texas right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (1-5, 4.31 ERA) will try to break the streak on Thursday when he faces Colorado’s Austin Gomber (3-5, 4.55) in a matinee game.
The Rangers were a respectable 22-27 before their eight-game skid, and the worry is the young roster would get discouraged by the losing streak. Manager Chris Woodward has tried to maintain an even demeanor while the frustrating losses pile up.
“I feel like we need to sacrifice something. I don’t want to offend anybody in doing that,” he said before Wednesday’s 6-3 loss. “So I want to be smart with that. But maybe a gummy worm, I don’t know, or something, cut something’s head off to change the fortunes.
“We’re fortunate, we’re grateful to be able to do this every day. And, you know, regardless of whether we’ve lost seven in a row or won seven in a row, we’ve got to maintain that. That’ll keep our, obviously our minds in the right spot.”
Texas has a veteran going in Foltynewicz. He recovered from a rough start to the 2021 season when he began 0-3 with a 5.36 ERA. In his last eight games, Foltynewicz is 1-2 but with just a 3.86 ERA in those outings. He has some familiarity with the Rockies in his career but hasn’t had much success.
In nine games – seven starts – against Colorado Foltynewicz is 0-4 with a 4.39 ERA. He has been hit hard at Coors Field, where he is 0-2 with a 9.82 ERA in four games (two starts).
Gomber hasn’t faced the Rangers in his young career but he has started to find his stride over the last few starts. Gomber, who gave up nine runs over 11 innings in his first two starts of May, has allowed just five earned runs in his last four outings.
His best start of the season came against the New York Mets on May 24, when he tossed a season-high eight innings in a 3-2 win.
Gomber, however, was saddled with the loss at Pittsburgh in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday.
The pressure of being part of an unpopular trade that sent franchise star Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals has loomed over Gomber.
“I’ve definitely dealt with some of the pressures of the trade, it’s something that will most likely follow me for my whole career, or at least as long as I play in Colorado,” he said. “Nolan was an icon. There’s a good chance that he’s going to end up in Cooperstown one day, and that’s probably not in the cards for me.”
Gomber will have a tough act to follow. Antonio Senzatela pitched 7 2/3 strong innings on Wednesday night to help the Rockies win their third in a row.
–Field Level Media