Rangers ready for off-day after missing on sweep

April 13th, 2023

ARLINGTON -- Sometimes it just isn’t your day. On Wednesday night, it really wasn’t the Rangers’ day.

For maybe the first time this season, nothing was clicking for Texas in any phase of the game as the club was unable to secure a series sweep with a 10-1 loss to the Royals.

Right-hander had his worst start of the season, allowing 10 hits and six runs over five innings of work. And in the first game without shortstop Corey Seager -- who is due to miss at least four weeks with a hamstring strain -- the offense only mustered four hits, one of which was a homer from  in the first inning for Texas’ lone run.

The defense, which didn’t log any official errors, looked lackadaisical and struggled with plays that weren’t exactly routine, but also still could have been made.

“I always say these games are gonna happen,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “You just flush it out and put it behind you. The guys have done a good job, and we're off tomorrow. That’s probably coming at a good time right now, and we can get ready for Houston [this weekend].”

Eovaldi looked sharp in the first inning, allowing a one-out single to Bobby Witt Jr. but inducing a lineout and strikeout to get out of the inning clean. Then the dam opened. The right-hander gave up runs in each of the next three innings, including a solo homer from Vinnie Pasquantino in the third.

Eovaldi said he felt better to start this game than his last against the Cubs, especially with his splitter, which had a lot more depth than it has all season. But once the runs started coming in, he could feel himself rushing through each pitch, not because of the new pitch timer, but because of the anticipation of getting to the next pitch or the next batter each time he made a mistake.

“I don't know why I felt like I was having to be quick to the plate on everything, but I felt like I started rushing and leaving the pitches up over the plate,” Eovaldi said. “Obviously, I’m aware that they are a contact hitting team and they're trying to drive the ball early in counts, especially when they have runners on base. I didn't do a good enough job of executing my pitches where I really needed to.”

The Royals took advantage of every mistake both Eovaldi and the defense made, continuing to tack on runs throughout the night.

But when it comes to some of the plays not made in the field behind him, Eovaldi put it on himself for the quality of contact Royals pitchers were able to make. 

“I didn't make quality pitches in the situations when I really needed to,” he said. “They were able to battle off enough pitches to where they were able to make that soft contact as opposed to having to swing and miss at pitches. It wasn't necessarily early in the counts or anything. It was those 0-2, 1-2 counts where I was in control, and I just have to do a better job of executing my pitches in those counts.”

Eovaldi was still able to strike out seven Royals hitters, getting 18 swings and misses. All night, it felt like he was just on the edge of what could have been a great outing. Royals manager Matt Quatraro noted that when Eovaldi gets going, he’s hard to hit, but the young Kansas City hitters focused in to hit the mistakes he made.  

For Eovaldi, he’s happy he gets another chance immediately to face the Royals next week when the Rangers make the trip to Kansas City. 

“I think, especially for me, being able to go back and watch the games and knowing what I have to do is nice in those regards,” Eovaldi said. “I felt like I did a lot of good things right tonight, and at the same time, I know what I need to do to be better the next time I go out. For me, it's just making sure that I stay within myself and my mechanics.

“I just want to make sure to execute my pitches, especially when I'm ahead in the count. At times, I feel like I'm trying to make perfect pitches as opposed to throwing them below the zone and letting them get themselves out.”