Unlucky 7-7-7

On the seventh day of the seventh month, the (41-43) Rangers fell to the (41-42) Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 and lost their seventh straight home ballgame. So much for home-field advantage, right?

Yovani Gallardo has been nothing short of a staff ace through 18 starts this season, and continued his run against Arizona. His scoreless inning streak came to an end on a broken-bat, double-hit Jake Lamb blooper in the top-of-the-fifth inning. The single plated David Peralta and Paul Goldschmidt, and ended Yo’s streak of 34-consecutive scoreless innings.

Gallardo is now 6-1 in starts following a Rangers’ loss, and he has surrendered just eight earned runs in 62.2 innings during those outings. The 34 scoreless inning streak is the third longest in Rangers’ history behind Kenny Rogers (39.0 IP in 1995) and Charlie Hough (36.0 IP in 1983), and according to Elias, is the longest streak in the MLB since Clayton Kershaw’s 41.0 scoreless innings last season.

Yes – for over a month and change, Gallardo has been almost as dominate as the first half of Kershaw’s 2014 CY Young campaign, and no, that is apparently not good enough to garner an all-star nod.

It is no secret that the Rangers are struggling against lefties this season. They have now lost four straight against southpaws, seven of their last eight, and have not defeated a left-handed hurler since beating Kershaw on June 17.

However, Shin Soo Choo’s performance – or lack there-of – takes the cake. How bad has Choo been?

Entering Tuesday’s game, the only other Rangers hitting under .200 on the season, are no longer on the big league squad – with the exception of the newly activated Ryan Rua. Jake Smolinski (.176) was DFA’d, claimed, and activated by the Athletics on Tuesday, while Hanser Alberto (.185), Joey Gallo (.135), and Tommy Field (.167) are all taking hacks in Round Rock. Never fear though Rangers fans, Choo is only pocketing $14 million this season while performing like he is on a rookie contract. His $6 million dollar raise does not kick-in until next season. He did – almost accidentally, find success against the Diamondbacks left handed starter Robbie Ray on Tuesday.

Elvis Andrus led off the bottom of the eighth with a frozen rope that got by Yasmany Tomas in right field, and was eventually scored as a three-base error. Choo flew out for the third time on the evening, but after the Tomas error, Elvis scored easily from third. At least it was a productive out for Choo, and got the Rangers on the board.

The RBI was his 36th on the season, 12th off of a lefty, and his first to come via something other than a homerun in the last 15 games.

Two batters later, the spark-plug that we have all come to know as Delino DeShields – for lack of a better word – stole a double after roping a Ray fastball into right field. DeShields was driven in by Rougned Odor, and Ray – along with his left arm, were driven out of the ballgame after 7.2 innings of work.

The Rangers’ offense went quietly into the clubhouse with its fourth straight loss, and seventh straight at home. Texas has not won a home game since defeating the Dodgers on June 16. The all-star break cannot get here soon enough.

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Travis M. Smith
Travis has been a baseball fanatic since birth, and, according to his parents and multiple other reports, at the sophisticated age of three had the near-superheroic ability to regurgitate the statistics of every member of the 1992-93 Texas Rangers. The 2015 Tarleton State graduate dabbled in baseball at the collegiate level before falling into journalism. He works full-time as the managing editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light while moonlighting as an "expert" in the fields of coffee, tacos and big-kid beverages.

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