Rangers fall to rival Angels despite Lorenzen's strong outing

May 19th, 2024

ARLINGTON -- Every pitcher will tell you that the concept of run support doesn’t really enter their mind while on the mound.

When pitching, it’s about controlling what you can control. What you can control, ultimately, is getting the other team out, nothing more, nothing less. said as much on Sunday.

“You just try and do your best each and every time out, and that's it,” he said. “You let the results take care of themselves. You let the pitching results take care of themselves and offensive results, you don't worry about that. You just go out and do the best you possibly can, and hopefully it puts your team in a good situation to win a baseball game.”

Lorenzen did his best to put the Rangers in a position to win, dealing 6 1/3 innings and allowing just two runs. But Texas ultimately fell, 4-1, to the Angels and dropped their third series in a row after a sweep in Colorado and a series loss to Cleveland to open the homestand.

The Rangers have lost 15 of their last 28 games as they fell back to the .500 mark, a season low.

Lorenzen took the loss despite his fourth quality start of the season, second-most among Texas starters despite not making his first start until April 15 after signing with the club on the second to last day of Spring Training. This is the fourth time in 2024 that a Rangers starter has taken the loss despite turning in a quality start. Lorenzen is winless in May despite a 3.20 ERA over four starts (25 1/3 innings) with a .207 opponent batting average.

“I’m settling in and getting comfortable with what my pitches are doing, and having an understanding of what I can and can't do throughout the game,” Lorenzen said. “That just makes the pitch selection a little more obvious, and I just kind of get into the groove a little bit. I’m able to just make better pitches. The more pitches I throw, I feel like the better pitches I can make. In big situations, I just rely on making a good pitch and that’s it.”

Lorenzen opened with six shutout innings before facing three batters in the seventh inning. He allowed a double and a walk before exiting with a lead after a strikeout. Jonathan Hernandez relieved him, allowing both inherited runners to score.

“What hurt was that he came in, strike one, strike two, two really nice pitches there and then walks him,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Hernandez’s relief appearance. Then they get a break on a bloop there that just hit by the line, and things unraveled from there.”

Rangers relievers allowed both inherited runners to score Sunday and have permitted 18 of 26 inherited runs to score in the last 10 games. Of those 10, Texas has lost seven of them. Despite the veteran duo of Kirby Yates (0.98 ERA) and David Roberston (2.28 ERA) thriving in high leverage roles this season, the Rangers bullpen as a whole has a 5.08 ERA, at 30th in MLB.

But while the bullpen has been rather dreadful much of the time, many of the Rangers' losses have come from a lack of offensive production. In the month of May, the Rangers rank 14th in MLB in batting average (.243), 20th in on-base percentage (.317) and 24th in slugging (.359).

“We're missing some slug,” Bochy said. “We're just not slugging like we normally do and that's why we're sitting on one run or two runs for the most part here the last nine or 10 days. … That’s what we’re talking about. It goes in streaks. The guys that normally slug are just not getting it. That’s all.

“It can be a couple of things, like trying to probably be too patient up there. But a couple guys just aren't swinging like they normally do and you got to hope they come out of it. That's where we're at right now. They're our guys and we have some guys struggling right now.”

The Rangers have never been under .500 in the Bruce Bochy era. This season, they are 8-0 in games after they fall back to .500. It won’t be easy to climb back above .500 this time though, as Texas heads off to face baseball’s best team in the Phillies (34-14) this week.

“We don’t feel pressure,” Bochy said. “Not this team with what we’ve been through over the last year. You’re right, we’re not playing our best baseball right now, but they've been resilient for over a year now. They've shown it this year with all of that we've gone through and so we'll go in there and give it our best. That’s all you can do.”