Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday at the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill
— Rangers outfielder Leonys Martin couldn’t stop talking about the catch George Springer made in the ninth inning on Sunday afternoon, leaping at the wall to take away a walkoff grand slam. Said Martin, “I can’t believe it. Every time I check my phone I see it. That would have been my first grand slam. I will remember that for years: a grand slam, walkoff home run, four RBI, score a run. That was sick.”
— Martin had a two-run single on Sunday but still has one hit in his last 22 at-bats and manager Jeff Banister said, “Don’t let the moment allow (Martin’s) swing to get too big. A hitter can get too amped up and get excited about the moment. When you’re not swinging the bat good, you get anxious. When we talk about staying stubborn with our approach, we’re talking about getting on base, using the wide-side of the field, swinging at hitters’ pitches, controlling the strike zone. All those things come into play.”
— Nolan Ryan’s Hall of Fame plaque will be on display this weekend at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock. The plaque will be on display along the third base concourse during the Round Rock Express Opening Weekend against Memphis. Ryan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.
— Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker in 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in three starts against the Rangers in his career. He is also 8-0 with a 1.65 ERA in his last nine starts going back to last season. Angels reliever Joe Smith has not allowed a run in his last 141/3 innings going back to last season.
— The Rangers lead the league with 11 hit by pitches. If you are wondering, the club record is 75 set in 2003. Alex Rodriguez holds the single-season record for a player, getting hit 16 times in 2001. Rougned Odor is a quarter-way there with four.
— Mitch Moreland was hit twice on Sunday after coming into the game as a substitute. That’s the first time that’s ever happened in club history.
— Hitting coach Dave Magadan on the number of hit by pitches: “That’s one way to get out on-base percentage up. Opposing pitchers are throwing inside to our guys and they are not commanding their pitches.”
— Ross Detwiler averaged 91.7 miles per hour on his fastball in his first start. So? He is the only Rangers starter over 90 miles per hour on the average. Derek Holland was 86.6 on his fastball in his start on Friday. He was 92.3 last season. That’s why the alarm bells went off.
— Jake Smolinski is still looking for his first hit but has four walks in his first 14 plate appearances as opposed to three in 92 plate appearances last season.
— The Rangers used three pinch-hitters in the eighth inning on Sunday and they all reached base either by walk or hit by pitch. That has happened just once since 1974.
— The other was on July 15, 1999. Left-hander Randy Johnson led the game after eighth innings with the Diamondbacks leading 2-0 at the Ballpark in Arlington. Right-hander Matt Mantei took over in the ninth and retired the first two hitters. Then manager Johnny Oates sent up three straight left-handed pinch hitters: Rusty Greer for Royce Clayton, Rafael Palmeiro for Luis Alicea and Lee Stevens for Jon Shave. All three walked and then Mark McLemore hit a three-run walkoff double.
— Monday is Thomas Jefferson’s birthday but he was not a baseball fan. Said Jefferson, “Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind.”
— Former Rangers infielder Doug Strange turned 51 on Monday.