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Rangers’ Joey Gallo makes a power boost on a 2-1 night to improve to 19-4 in the Players’ tournament

Rangers’ Joey Gallo makes a power boost on a 2-1 night to improve to 19-4 in the Players’ tournament

It was a long break for Joey Gallo after a .500 Sunday (by Players’ league standards). I could sense from his Twitch stream that the grind of the tournament was getting to him. However, Joey went back to work (sort of) on Thursday with a brief three-game schedule. The schedule started with a big matchup against Jeff McNeil of the New York Mets. McNeil’s 14-4 record marked third overall in the tournament. Gallo followed suit against fun and upbeat Brett Phillips of the Kansas City Royals and Carl Edwards Jr. of the Seattle Mariners. Joey entered the night scoring 105 runs throughout the tournament, most overall despite six players playing either twenty or more games.

Game 21: Rangers (Joey Gallo) at Mets (Jeff McNeil)

Despite the low stamina, McNeil wasn’t fooling around on his pitcher selection. McNeil immediately went to the two straight Cy Young award winner, Jacob deGrom. To start the game, Danny Santana reached on a rare Robinson Cano error followed by another ownership two-run homerun by Joey himself (tying Willie with the team lead with 10). Lance Lynn worked out around a leadoff single as McNeil stranded himself at third to end the first inning.

Both guys went scoreless in their respective second innings. In the third, virtual Joey and Willie do what virtual Joey and Willie do, and that’s hit back-to-back jacks. Rougned Odor was feeling lonely and took an upper tank shot, then Todd Fraizer went deep off the left-field foul pole. It didn’t end there because Hunter Cole took a shot to left marking six home runs (five in the third inning). “What is going on. This is insane. I actually can’t believe what is going on.” a dumbfounded Gallo said after a five homer third inning barrage. McNeil avoided the shutout with a two-run single by Pete Alonso. Gallo made a powerful statement against a good player in McNeil.

Game 22: Royals (Brett Phillips) at Rangers (Joey Gallo)

Joey swept the “GOAT” uniforms under the rug for the clean unis (the retro white uniforms) to counter the powder blue Royals’ uniforms. Jorge Soler struck first for Brett with a two-run home run to put the Royals up 2-0 against Corey Kluber. Phillips threw out the sidearmer, Tim Hill, which created issues for Joey. In the bottom of the second, Phillips made a manager decision by keeping Hill in the game with two outs and a runner at third (the game changer).

Gallo scratched a run on a sacrifice fly to crawl within a run, and then on an Elvis dribbler, a fielding mistake tied the game at two. “That’s how we drew it up, boys,” Joey said after the Elvis RBI game-tying single in the second. Jose Leclerc threw a scoreless third inning while a combination of Trevor Rosenthal and Greg Holland sent the game to extras (1st time for Gallo this tournament). The top of the fifth broke the tie game after Brett Phillips homered as himself (3rd of the tournament). Brett added two more and extended the lead to 5-2 and closed the game out. Joey talked about Tim Hill and his sidearm during the game. “I wish I had some funky-ass dude throwing in my bullpen.”

Game 23: Mariners (Carl Edwards Jr.) at Rangers (Joey Gallo)

Joey made a couple of managerial decisions in the final game of the night. First, Gallo decided to go with Nick Solak instead of Ronald Guzman. On the night, Ronald Guzman didn’t get an at-bat in any of the three games. “I’m giving Solak some time; he’s been complaining,” Gallo said before the game. Also, in the first inning, Joey intentionally walked Daniel Vogelbach with a runner on third and two outs. Tom Murphy flew out to end the first inning. At the bottom of the first inning, Joey did something more surprising than a home run, an opposite-field single to left. Joey scored the first run on a sacrifice fly to put Texas up 1-0. Both teams went scoreless in the second while Gallo went to Leclerc to finish the game, and on cue, a quick inning for Leclerc ended the night with a 1-0 win with some drama.

Joey finished the night 2-1 (19-4 on the tournament) and came into the night 4.5 games up on Trevor May (the eighth seed). Gallo’s next set of games is Sunday night against Cole Tucker of the Pirates (3-16), Tommy Kahnle of the Yankees (11-7), and Jesus Luzardo of the Athletics (9-6). Also with those three matchups, Joey faces a familiar face and a Rangers’ favorite, Hunter Pence of the Giants Sunday night (8-11) so be sure to tune in to Gallo’s and Pence’s twitch to check out that matchup.

After Sunday, it leaves Joey with one night of season tournament left and only two players remaining (Ian Happ and Juan Soto). At this point, Joey is pretty much guaranteed a playoff spot, but it could be a little too close to secure the top spot in the tournament. It’s also worth it to point out that Joey and Willie are tied in the home run column (each with ten).


Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. I talk about things. Find me on the tweeter @aplinckTX

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