Rangers feasting on home cooking

June 5th, 2021

There’s no place like home for the Rangers. Though the club hasn’t played 162 games at Globe Life Field, it has made sure to grab hold of the homefield advantage that comes with the new stadium.

On Friday night, Texas snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Rays in the first game of a homestand. The win moved the Rangers’ home record to 14-13 this season. They’re 9-23 away from Globe Life Field, which opened in 2020.

“I think coming here honestly put a lot of guys at ease,” manager Chris Woodward said. “They feel comfortable here, which is a good sign for us moving forward. They feel more comfortable hitting here with our fans and the atmosphere and everything. It was just good to see us play a clean game and, honestly, do some things to score some runs that we hadn't been doing before.”

Woodward said he thinks the club has finally adjusted to the new park, and it’s paid dividends for the entire squad. Globe Life Park across the street was a lot more hitter-friendly, something that frustrated Rangers batters in 2020.

“[Globe Life Field] is such a beautiful place, man,” Woodward said. “Everything is just spectacular. That change took a little while for our hitters to kind of finally get that this is a great place to play, a great place to hit. It's different than our old place, so what we thought was great before, this is even better in different ways. Our mentality has definitely changed as a group. As individuals, they've really embraced that.”

Before returning home Friday night, the Rangers were in the midst of a 15-game road losing streak spanning two separate trips, a skid that Texas hopes to snap against the Dodgers next weekend. Rangers ace said the team almost felt a bit “trapped and suffocated” on the last road trip, which included series against the Mariners, Angels and Rockies.

When asked if the vibe within the clubhouse was different at home vs. on the road, veteran infielder joked, “Well, we’re winning a lot more games at home.”

“We haven't won a road game in two road trips, so the vibes haven't been that great,” Holt said. “But it's not for lack of work or anything like that, it's just that we haven't got the job done. We're doing what we can to try and get out of it. We just haven't been able to yet, and hopefully we can sooner or later.”

Gibson said coming home can do wonders for your mentality, whether it's getting to sleep in your own bed or going to your favorite restaurant or just being in your own comfortable environment.

But the atmosphere at Globe Life Field has been unmatched on its own this season. For the first month, the Rangers were the only team in the Majors allowing full capacity at their stadium. Attendance at Globe Life has exceeded 30,000 nine times.

The Rangers are 9-4 (.692) at home since the beginning of May, good for fifth best in MLB during that span. The offense has slashed .266/.326/.443 with a .769 OPS at home since the beginning of May. Texas' only sweep of the season -- a three-game set against the Astros -- also came at home.

“I think playing here at home, there's a really great atmosphere,” said second baseman . “We're playing in front of great fans, and they're making a ton of noise. So I think maybe that energy is something that we can thrive on, and that's something that we're trying to get on the road as well. It's just really great to play in front of these fans and all the noise and energy they're bringing, I think we feed off it for sure.”