ARLINGTON – Rangers manager Chris Woodward has always emphasized the aggressiveness at the bases. It was an integral part of his tenure at the club.
Texas’ aggressiveness reached the next level in Monday night’s 4-1 win against the Angels at Globe Life Field when Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Brock Holt double-steals perfectly to win 2-1 in the lower part of the fifth inning Leadership to go. In a first and third situation, Kiner-Falefa stole the second, while Holt drove home immediately. Angel’s catcher Max Stassi tried to catch Kiner-Falefa, allowing Holt to safely dive into home plate long before the day.
Holt recorded the 38th home theft in the club’s history and the second in 2021. Woodward said it was a momentum-changing moment as it gave the Rangers an edge they never gave up.
“In all honesty, I was a little surprised they actually threw it,” said Woodward. “I know [shortstop José] Iglesias is really good at bringing the season home, but with the third baseman playing like this, Brock could get a pretty big lead and a decent jump. We talk about this game all the time and we obviously stole a lot of bases in the first and third games [situations], but most teams don’t throw in this situation. We have to be ready to double steal the times they are throwing and the guys did a good job. “
Number 19 prospect Curtis Terry, who scored his first two MLB goals, said catcher Jose Trevino called the double steal in the dugout before it happened, which gave the team even more energy at the moment.
“It was huge,” added Terry. “Our entire team chemistry is currently right. It just went really well. Like this game. … good baserunning, hard defense, we just play good baseball and everything for the last three or four days. We just did well as a team and that leads to some wins. I am happy to be part of it. “
The Rangers did not let up and built their lead in seventh place with a sacrificial fly from Holt and an RBI single from Kiner-Falefa. The win extended the Rangers’ winning streak to three games, something they haven’t done since the end of June, when they beat the Royals and A’s four times in a row.
Woodward emphasized that this was the most all-round team win for the Rangers of the season. From the battle for the plate to the aggressive leadership of the bases to the defense, it was the most complete game they have ever played.
“We look relaxed on the offensive,” said Woodward. “Listen, we didn’t get 15 runs. But if it was necessary we had a man over there and if it was necessary we brought the man in. We played really well on the defense and made a lot of nice plays in the infield. The pitching and execution was phenomenal. It was just a lot of really good things. … It was just a well-played game on all sides of the ball. “
Since the trading deadline has expired, the Rangers have been playing with renewed energy despite being one of the biggest sellers in the league. It’s felt on the field as the club’s youth find a way to win games.
Terry agreed that the deadline might put undue strain on some players, but the club really did come together during the homestand after playing 3-17 prior to that winning stretch.
“I said to the guys after the game, ‘This is the vision you have for a successful ball club,'” said Woodward. “We made it look a little simple tonight sometimes, but I got the feeling our boys were as calm as they were playing the game. I don’t know if it’s after the deadline. … Of course it’s a good unit and a good squad, but we have to see that more often. If we could do that every night, we’d give ourselves a chance. “