Texas Rangers Becoming Competitors Once Again?

For two years the Texas Rangers were the toast of the American League as they represented the AL in the World Series for two consecutive years.

Last season was rough for fans of the Texas Rangers. After being one of the better teams in baseball the club floundered miserably ending the season with the worst record (67-95) the club has seen since the strike shortened ’94 season (when they only won 52 games).

The previous two seasons were not exactly easy ones either. After going to two consecutive World Series the team flopped in the second half of the season two years in a row. One year they still managed to make it in to the wild card (which they lost) while in the other they finished on the outside looking in.

So to say the fan base is eager to return to post season glory is likely an understatement, but do they have the stuff to get the job done this season?

Maybe.

On the season the pitching staff is not looking overly impressive (18th in ERA with 4.05), but fans did get a good glimpse of the staff’s potential during a magical 23 game run from May 28-June 21. Over that span the rotation had a major league best 2.15 ERA, but then the wheels fell off the proverbial bus.

Stud newcomer Chi Chi Gonzalez had a rough outing against Oakland (six runs in 5 2/3 innings; Rangers lost 8-6) followed by a terrible run that saw the starting rotation give up 20 runs over the next 16 innings. When asked what he could do differently in his next start to avoid another bad outing Gonzalez simply said: “Don’t repeat that.”

For the team to thrive this season the rotation can’t afford to have too many (if any) stretches like that one. What the Rangers really need is for the offense to wake up a little.

The team batting average is just .248 (19th in the league). To be fair, while there OPS is not that great either (.712; 17th in the league) the Rangers are making something out of what offense they do produce (9th in runs scored with 324).

After Saturday night’s 4-0 win (that saw the team hit three home runs) the Rangers are 38-37, tied for second in the division, and just four games behind the Houston Astros for first in the division (yes, the Astros). So are they competitors once again?  

It is safe to say they have been after 75 games. As for whether they are—there is a lot of baseball left to be played. Stay tuned.

 

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