The Texas Rangers were in need of some good Monday, and as luck would have it they received some on two fronts.
The Rangers did not lose Monday because they did not play. Also, the next time they play again will be in June, meaning the bumpy ride that was May is over.
So, yeah, there was no luck involved Monday, just a fortunate day off for a team riding a six-game losing streak in the midst of a nine-game road trip.
They will resume play Tuesday against the 20-34 Colorado Rockies in Denver, stuck in last in the American League West at 22-33, and will begin the process of putting an 11-17 month behind them.
The Rangers were 18-18 on May 9, which means they closed the month with a mark of 4-15.
May wasn’t all bad. Here’s a look at some of the good … and some of the bad.
Best player: Adolis Garcia
A candidate to be the American League Player of the Month and, it would seem, a shoo-in to be Rookie of the Month, Garcia has emerged as one of baseball’s best players so far this season.
It’s not just the MLB-best 11 homers he hit, setting a club record for homers by a rookie in one month, or the terrific defense he played. As much as anything, it’s when he delivered.
As Woodward said, Garcia has a flare for the dramatic.
He won two games with homers in extra innings. He threw out a runner at home to end a game. He won another game with an extra-innings single.
All Garcia has to do is keep it up for four more months.
Best pitcher: Kyle Gibson
The only thing Gibson did wrong was get hurt. He finished the month on the 10-day injured list with a strained right groin, but the Rangers’ thinking is he will start over the weekend at Globe Life Field against the American League champion Tampa Bay Rays.
The right-hander posted a 2.33 ERA, fifth in the AL, and a .158 opponents average, which was good enough for third. He took a no-decision in all four of his May starts, but the Rangers won twice and could have won the other two.
He won’t win AL Pitcher of the Month, but he very clearly was the Rangers’ best pitcher.
Best reliever: Taylor Hearn
This was a tough call, considering closer Ian Kennedy posted a 1.08 ERA and a .179 opponents average over eight outings. Hearn, though, potentially altered the way the Rangers will use him going forward.
The left-hander went 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA and a .190 opponents’ average. He still walks too many hitters (eight in 14 innings), but he seems to have taken the Rangers’ urging him to come out of the bullpen firing his best bullets.
Hearn can dominate when he’s pumping his fastball in the mid-90s. If he tackles his control issues, he could work his way into more high-leverage spots and potentially get a chance to start games.
Best moment: Sweep of Astros
The Houston Astros swept four games from the Rangers on May 13-16 at Minute Maid Park, and the Rangers had lost nine of 10 games when the Astros came to Globe Life Field the next weekend for three games.
The Rangers did the sweeping this time, with Garcia winning the first game with a walk-off three-run homer, hitting two solo homers in Game 2, and delivering a walk-off single to complete the sweep. Both walk-offs were in the 10th inning.
Right-hander Mike Foltynewicz tossed seven scoreless innings in the third game in what could a the game when he turned his season around.
Worst moment: No-hit … again
Not only did the Rangers fail to collect a hit in a game for the second time this season, a former teammate is the one who held them down.
The right-hander spent the 2020 season with the Rangers, logging only one inning before tearing a shoulder muscle and missing the rest of the season. His first career no-no in his first start against the Rangers was like throwing a bag of salt into the wound.
Joe Musgrove of the San Diego Padres no-hit the Rangers on April 9. Both games were at Globe Life Field.
Best development: Crowds get noisy
The final homestand of the month gave the Rangers and opponents an idea of just how loud Globe Life Field can be with a large crowd and the roof closed.
In fairness, many in the crowd were there to see the Yankees and Astros, but Rangers fans represented the home team loudly. That was especially so in the Astros series each time Garcia did something heroic.
The Rangers said that the crowd noise might have rattled the Astros, and that noise left the Rangers to dream how loud it might get in a playoff series.
Worst development: Road woes
The month started out very well on the road, with the Rangers winning three straight games to close out a four-game series at the Minnesota. Those were the Rangers’ last road wins of the month.
They finished the month losing 12 straight away from home to match the longest streak in franchise history. The Rangers are the worst road team in baseball at 9-20 and will attempt to reverse that in the opener of a three-game series at Coors Field.