The Texas Rangers are no longer in first place. In fact, they are multiple games back. Only a month ago a statement like that would sound absurd but after losing four straight home games and seven of the last nine games total, it is not only possible, but it’s reality.
The Oakland A’s are now in sole possession of first place. They seem to be improving while the Rangers are declining. Yes, there are plenty of games left in the season. Yes, the Rangers just illustrated that much can change in short period of time. And yes, the Rangers are dealing with roughly one metric crap-load of injuries thus far in the season. But we must ask ourselves, “Is there reason for optimism?” “Are the Rangers the team we saw in May or the one we now see in June?”
The Rangers are simply playing sloppy baseball at this point. The injuries are significant and impact the overall talent level of this squad but it seems as though the psychological impact of these injuries are weighing heavier.
The Rangers have a very important stretch coming up against the division rival and 1st place team, the Oakland A’s. The Rangers will be wise not to overlook the current home matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays recently won a series against the Rangers in Toronto and are giving the Rangers a heck of fight in Texas. The Rangers play the last 2 games of the 4 game series against Toronto on Saturday and Sunday. They need to buckle down and correct their games now because on Monday the A’s come to town. They arrive with confidence and on a roll. The Rangers can’t try to flip the switch then – they must do it now.
Refief is on the way. One of the biggest injuries they’ve endured is set to return today against the Blue Jays. Ian Kinsler is an enormous part of the offense and his impact cannot be ignored.
But the Rangers cannot expect Kinsler to do it all. They each need to turn this around right now. They cant wait for the Oakland series. They need to step it up today against Toronto. If they do, maybe next weekend we will be talking once again about the first place Texas Rangers.