ARLINGTON — When Adolis Garcia is at the plate in a late-game situation, it’s almost always safe to assume he’ll come in with a big hit to win or tie a game.
On Sunday, the outfielder put himself in that situation once again, as the Rangers trailed by a run in the ninth inning with a runner in scoring position and Garcia at the plate, looking to keep alive the longest hitting streak of his career. race.
Instead, he struck out, ending a day 0-for-3 at the plate and snapping a 23-game hitting streak in Sunday’s 9-8 loss to the Tigers at Globe Life Field.
“At the time, I just wanted to win the game, like always,” Garcia said. “He was trying to hit something far away or something in the gap. But at that time, I didn’t think of any hits. [streak]. I just wanted to win the game.”
His streak was the longest active streak in MLB and the longest of any American League hitter in 2022, surpassing Valdimir Guerrero Jr.’s 22 earlier this season. He was also the fifth longest in Rangers history and the longest since Josh Hamilton’s 23 in 2010.
Although the hitting streak came to an end, Garcia drew two walks on the day to maintain his 24-game on-base streak, which is the longest by a Texas batter since Nathaniel Lowe had 25 games in 2021. 31 walks, Garcia is also one away from matching his career high, set last season.
“Before [hit streak] It happened, I was getting ready to get better at the plate, and to get 23 in a row is a complete,” Garcia said. “I am very proud and I feel good for what I did. … I think they used that against me today. They knew he wanted to hit. So the first pair of AB [when I took the walks]I knew they weren’t going to throw anything easy at me.”
For interim manager Tony Beasley, both the streak and Garcia’s willingness to walk when necessary despite the streak is a sign of his development at the plate.
The four ball on both walks came on pitches well out of the zone, one high and one on the ground, but both were pitches Garcia would have been likely to chase in the past. Now, though, he understands his game plan and how pitchers will try to attack him.
“I was impressed today, actually, because he walked and didn’t try to force it,” Beasley said. “For a guy with something on the line, like what he has, a lot of times on those 3-2 counts, you’re just in swing mode. The punch supersedes everything else, but he was patient enough to go for a walk. He was just praying that he would get something to handle and keep his streak alive, but he continued to give us professional at-bats, and he gave his team at-bats and took walks. That was impressive to me.”
During the 23-game hitting streak, Garcia slashed .316/.350/.463 with an .813 OPS, three home runs, and 16 RBIs, continuing his post-All-Star streak on the field.
A second-half slump is also something Garcia struggled with during his rookie season in 2021 and again shows how much of a better player he has become in a year.
In the final 69 games of last season, he struggled to keep up with his early success, slashing .211/.256/.370 with a .627 OPS. This year, Garcia is 44-for-146 (.301) since the All-Star break.
“It also shows that this year he’s prepared to play a full season,” Beasley said. It’s still fresh. Nobody is 100%, but he is right with the pack. It’s not lagging behind and it’s not creeping around the area. He’s still capable of stealing bases, he still has a lot of life in his legs. We have seen him still playing with a lot of energy. So that’s a good sign. He’s just telling you that he’s adjusted since last year and that he understands how to prepare and recover.”