Rangers in search of 'a little more firepower'

August 31st, 2020

The Rangers will attempt to get the most talent back possible in any trade, but this season continues to reinforce one of their biggest and most unexpected needs.

The Rangers just don’t have the sheer offensive firepower that was once the club’s most reliable strength. That was once again evident in a 7-2 loss to the Dodgers on Sunday at Globe Life Field.

The Dodgers had 11 hits total, including three home runs off Rangers starter . The Rangers had seven hits -- all singles -- and were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

While the Dodgers were setting a National League record for most home runs in a calendar month, the Rangers were closing out August with the fewest in the American League. The Rangers have 22 home runs this month, which ranks as their third lowest for August in the past 25 years.

That’s why it is somewhat baffling to see rumors floating that the Rangers are “discussing” trading . Adding power would seem to be a high priority, not subtracting it, even if Gallo has been struggling offensively. Getting other big bats around Gallo might be a better solution.

“That is definitely a priority when you see our ballclub,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “We don’t slug it a lot right now. Depending who we go after … we do need a little more firepower, especially in the middle of the lineup to carry the load at times.”

The Dodgers gave the Rangers a reminder of what power can do. Gibson gave up solo home runs to Corey Seager in the first and Will Smith in the second, and a two-run shot to Cody Bellinger in the third. The Rangers have been out-homered 44-27 this season.

“You see other teams, especially in our division, they are middle-heavy and it makes it tough,” Woodward said. “That is something we have missed this year.”

Gibson has allowed nine home runs in 38 innings overall, a rate of 2.13 per nine innings. The highest in club history for a full season is 1.68, by Rick Helling in 1999. Gibson’s career average was 1.05 going into this season.

“It has been a little frustrating because I just looked, my last three starts, I have given up six homers,” Gibson said. “I’ve gotten 19 ground balls, six fly-ball outs and six homers. Half of your fly balls are not supposed to leave the yard. If I could get guys to pop those up rather than barrel them up, that would be great.”

The three home runs staked the Dodgers to a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the third. The Rangers then put together a rally against right-hander Tony Gonsolin that threatened to wipe out L.A.’s lead.

and , batting at the bottom of the lineup, led off with singles and walked. A wild pitch scored a run, and walked to re-load the bases with the Rangers’ 3-4-5 hitters coming up.

popped out to second baseman Gavin Lux. Gallo worked the count full and struck out looking on a 96 mph borderline fastball at the bottom of the zone. fell behind 0-2, fouled off five pitches while working the count full, and then struck out to end the inning.

“That ended up being the game,” Woodward said. “Trevino has been swinging one of our hottest bats, but he is not going to get a hit every time. Joey got a couple of good rips I think he would like to have back -- middle of the plate and swung through. Then [he] takes a really close 3-2 pitch that I thought wasn’t a strike. That kind of swung the whole inning. That was a crucial inning for us and to come out only 4-1 really hurt.”

The Rangers have scored 105 runs this month. That is the second fewest number of runs they have scored in August in the past 25 years, just ahead of last year. They scored 183 in 1999.

“It’s a little different from the [Rangers] teams I’m used to playing against,” Mathis said. “But at the same time, if we don’t have that firepower the Rangers have been known for in the past, we’ve got to find a way to win, find a way to scratch runs across and get the mojo going on our side.”