Over a year ago today, Marcus Semien and the Texas Rangers franchise hit a crossroads.
Both the manager, along with the general manager were fired as the team was on pace to finish with what would end up being their sixth consecutive losing season. Now, thanks to one of the best offenses in baseball, led by the Majors most expensive middle infield and some new additions to the pitching staff, they have a shot at the first World Series in team history.
The turnaround from August 15, 2022, to that same day in 2023 for the Texas Rangers is the stuff sports movies are made of.
Last Friday the team matched their 2022 win total of 68. After Wednesday night’s 1-0 loss to the LA Angels — a game in which Semien broke up a no-hitter with an 8th inning hustle double – that total now stands at 72, exactly two games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the best record in the American League.
Wednesday’s loss broke a streak of 10 straight home wins with a MLB-best 42-21 record in Arlington this year.
Since acquiring some new pieces at the August 1st trade deadline, including three-time Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer, they are 12-3 which is the best record in the American League over that span.
Players up and down the 26-man roster have stepped up when called upon, but at the end of the day, the team’s success should be attributed to the half a billion-dollar middle infield tandem of American League All-Star starters Marcus Semien and Corey Seager.
The pair has earned every penny they signed for in the winter of 2021.
— Anaheim Sports (@AnaheimSports1) August 16, 2023
Seager, who’s 21st home run of the year was almost taken away when Angels outfielder Jordyn Adams leaped over the wall to grab it but ultimately had the ball fall out of his glove, ranks near the top of the Majors in OPS, slugging, batting average and on base percentage for all hitters.
Batting in front of him in the lineup is the team’s captain, second baseman Marcus Semien.
Iron Man Marcus Semien
Semien has played in 253 straight games dating back to May 12th of last year. Over the past three seasons; totaling 444 games, that is the only game he missed.
“He has a killer instinct,” Rangers general manager Chris Young told MLBbro.com.
“He is aggressive to kick the game off and puts on a show from the start. With Seager behind him it makes it that much tougher to pitch to him.”
Semien has reached base in a league-high 23 consecutive games and during the month of August is slashing .345/.446/.673 with four home runs and 12 RBI, five of which came on Monday night when he drove a season-high five runners, three by way of his 19th homer of the year.
Between May and June of this year Semien reached base in a career-high 33 consecutive games, grinding out a 25-game hitting streak over the time that ended as the third longest in club history.
“My goal is always the same, swing at strikes and get on base,” Semien told MLBbro.com.
This season for Semien could end up as one of the greatest ever for a second baseman in league history, competing with his own record breaking 2021 where he hit a MLB-record 45 homers for the Blue Jays and won the 2021 MLBbro Player of the Year award.
He is the front runner for both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards and is on pace to finish with 107 RBI. That would be the most in Major League history for a leadoff hitter, passing Charlie Blackmon’s 103 runs driven in 2017.
Semien will look to add to both his RBI and team’s home win total this weekend in a three-game series against Devin Williams and the Brewers.