New-look Rangers exemplify what Yankees fans crave To see in their team

The Yankees vs. Rangers game at Yankee Stadium on June 23, 2023.
BigEd/Twitter

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After the Yankees’ 4-2 loss to Texas on Friday, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who previously played for them, admitted that the Rangers were looking a completely different one. They showed all those changed attributes — strong pitching abilities, impressive speed on the bases, and hitting prowess, which only added to the woos of the Yankees in the extra-inning loss.

During the game at Yankee Stadium, Yankees fans had the opportunity to witness the Rangers up close and personal, which may have left them feeling a sense of envy. The Rangers embody everything that Yankees fans had hoped and expected their own team to be, claims Joe Heyman of The Post.

The new look of the Rangers

Adolis Garcia, the Rangers’ cleanup hitter, hit the game-winning home run in the 10th inning by connecting with the first pitch from Yankees reliever Michael King and sending it soaring into the left-field bleachers. This pivotal moment not only gave the Rangers a 4-2 lead but also secured their eventual victory. However, in a lineup filled with productive players, any member could have contributed in a similar manner.

Yankees fans, brace yourselves for some astonishing statistics. In the Rangers’ lineup on Friday, an incredible eight out of nine players had an OPS plus exceeding the league average. Furthermore, every single one of them boasted a batting average higher than .250, placing them all well above the average mark. It’s truly remarkable to see such impressive offensive performances from the entire Rangers team.

Indeed, every player in the Rangers’ lineup is making a significant impact. Even their ninth-place hitter maintains an impressive batting average of.299. One can’t help but wonder if he would easily secure a spot batting third in the Yankees lineup, especially in the absence of Aaron Judge. The Yankees’ lineup, although filled with talented players, seems to prioritize reputation and potential over consistent production.

Over the past two winters, the Rangers made significant changes by signing high-profile players, and except for the unfortunate Jacob deGrom, each of those major investments has paid off. Currently, they stand out from the rest of the league, where most big-spending teams are struggling to find success.

But the Yankees’ woes persist

Despite their disappointing start, which is one of the worst the Yankees had in recent memory, it’s worth noting that they are actually performing better than many of the other teams that have spent big money.

It may be difficult to believe, but the Yankees are currently holding on to one of the remaining two playoff spots in the American League with a record of 41-35. Their success can largely be attributed to their effective pitching and the impressive contributions of Aaron Judge before he was sidelined with a toe injury. Unfortunately, there is still no set timeline for his return.

Dj LeMahieu of the New York Yankees is slamming his helmet after a disappointed game against the Mariners on June 23, 2023.
Charles Wenzelberg/NYP

The biggest puzzle, though, continues to be the Yankees’ offense, which has been extremely poor in the absence of their star player. In the 16 games, since Judge landed on the injured list, they have averaged nearly three runs per game, resulting in a 6-10 record during that period. Unfortunately, their performance on Friday did nothing to improve that average.

During the past three weeks, encompassing the first 15 games following Judge’s unfortunate collision with the outfield wall at an aging yet picturesque stadium in Los Angeles, the Yankees have struggled significantly. They currently hold the lowest batting average in Major League Baseball at .196, along with the lowest OPS at .611. Additionally, their scoring average of 3.2 runs per game places them at the bottom of the league as well.

It may not come as a shock that the Yankees are struggling to find consistent hitters to fill the important No. 3 spot in the lineup in the absence of the formidable Judge. As a hopeful measure, Giancarlo Stanton, who was booed by fans, was designated to bat in the No. 3 position on Friday night. However, the options are currently limited. Manager Aaron Boone must choose between a productive journeyman like Billy McKinney and more prominent players. As expected, he is opting for the well-known names.

The Yankees offense remains lifeless

Boone mentioned that Stanton’s return could occur unexpectedly and emphasized that it is inevitable for him to make his way back to the lineup. Although it is difficult to dispute this assessment, there is no indication of its imminent occurrence. Stanton, a former MVP, has not displayed strong performance since his return from the injured list, despite Boone’s affirmation of his good health.

Giancarlo Stanton is returning to dugout in Yankees vs. Red Sox game at Fenway Park, June 18, 2023.
Dylan Backer/ twitter

However, the individual known for consistently hitting the hardest balls in the game continues to experience frustrating outcomes. Despite having a season batting average below .200, his performance in the current month is even lower, specifically .096. Observant fans have taken note of this decline.

Throughout the game, Stanton faced consistent booing from the crowd, whereas Josh Donaldson, who didn’t start and was only used as a pinch hitter, received some boos as well. Donaldson’s average dropped to .125 after his appearance in the 10th inning.

Regarding the lineup arrangement, the lack of proficient hitters makes it difficult to justify assigning multiple prominent positions. Out of the star players, Anthony Rizzo is the only one who is both healthy and performing well at the plate. Given the circumstances, someone needs to take on the cleanup role. Although Rizzo managed to reach base three times, the recent performance of the team as a whole leaves little for him to clean up.

Despite all the challenges, Boone maintains an astonishing level of optimism. Before the game, he described the team’s struggling slump in the following manner: He said that these occasional rough patches on offense are common and expected.

The man deserves credit for his optimistic perspective despite the ongoing display of poor performance. For now, it seems that the Rangers, who have emerged victorious in four out of five matchups against the Yankees (including four games played earlier in Texas), have established themselves as a dominant force. 

They consistently perform well and have the highest scoring average in the league, averaging six runs per game, which is exactly twice as much as what the Yankees have been able to produce recently. From the top of their lineup to the bottom, they pose a significant threat.

However, Isiah Kiner-Falefa also acknowledged that his current team, the Yankees, has experienced notable differences as well, and unfortunately, these changes have not been positive.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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