Stats & Info: Leonys Martin

Each win stranger for Rangers

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
The Texas Rangers are living a charmed life in the early part of the 2014 season.

They’re 8-7 this season despite being outscored by nine runs, and they’ve already managed a majors-best four walk-off wins, the latest being a bizarre 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

The game lived up to its billing as a great pitcher’s duel between aces Yu Darvish and Felix Hernandez.

The Mariners lost on a combination of mishaps, the first being the inability of Brad Miller to convert a potential forceout for the final out of the game. Miller entered the day with solid defensive numbers -- three defensive runs saved for the season.

The next was a wild pitch by closer Fernando Rodney, who has averaged a wild pitch about every 19 innings for his career. His wild pitch Wednesday allowed the tying run to score.

Leonys Martin then won the game with his third walk-off hit in the past eight months, a bloop single to left field that gave reliever Pedro Figueroa his first big league win.

The Rangers went from having two outs and nobody on, a situation in which their win probability was about 4 percent, to an unlikely victory.

The Rangers continue to win despite not hitting home runs. They entered the day with only seven, which ranked 14th in the American League, and did not add to that total on Wednesday.

For the Mariners, it was another in a long line of wasted starts by their starting pitchers.

Last season, they lost 12 games in which a starter went at least seven innings and allowed one run or fewer (the most in the majors since the 1986 Montreal Expos lost 13). It was their first such defeat in 2014.

Hernandez has now made 17 starts in the last five seasons in which he went at least seven innings and allowed one run or fewer. That’s the most in the majors in that span. Ex-Mariner Cliff Lee kept pace with his 13th on Wednesday for the Philadelphia Phillies, tying him with Jered Weaver for the second-most such starts.

Elias Sports Bureau Stat of the Day
The Rangers are the first team with four walk-off wins by April 16 since the 2000 Kansas City Royals.

Rangers rely on hit parade without Cruz

August, 20, 2013

AP Photo/Tony GutierrezSince losing Nelson Cruz on Aug. 5, the Rangers have the best offense in baseball.
When Nelson Cruz was handed a 50-game suspension for being linked to Biogenesis, the Texas Rangers lost one of their top hitters. But the Rangers' offense has been the best in baseball since his suspension.

And they haven't done it with the long ball. On Monday they scored 11 of their 16 runs against the Houston Astros in the third inning without hitting a home run. The Rangers lead the league in runs per game (6.6) since Aug. 5, despite having hit just six home runs in that span, tied for the fewest in the majors.

Instead, the Rangers have reached base at the third-best rate in that timeframe, helped by their ability to draw walks (third-best walk rate since Aug. 5). And they've been aggressive on the basepaths. Since the Biogenesis fallout, Texas' 24 stolen bases lead the league.

Leading the way are Elvis Andrus and Leonys Martin. The duo has combined for 15 stolen bases since Aug. 5 (Andrus, 8; Martin, 7), more than 26 other teams in that span (only the Royals, Yankees and Astros have stolen as many bases).

Adrian Beltre has remained the cornerstone of the Rangers' offense, batting .422/.544/.600 since Cruz's suspension. It’s his best hitting month in terms of average despite not having the same power he had the first four months of the season (23 home runs through July; two home runs so far in August).

A.J. Pierzynski has emerged as the team's second-best hitter sans Cruz, feasting on anything inside the strike zone. He's batting a league-best .545 with a 1.500 OPS on at-bats ending with pitches inside the strike zone. He batted .309 on such pitches prior to that, right around league average (.304).