Sep 17, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington (38) talks with second baseman Ian Kinsler (5) in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. The Rangers won 7-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers Hanging on by a Thread: A Look Ahead

The brutal seven game losing streak had to end sometime. Last night the Rangers ended their free-fall with a 7-1 win against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rangers finally generated some offense Tuesday night with the help a few timely homeruns from Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, and Leonys Martin.

The rediscovered offense, together with great bullpen pitching, made this game actually watchable. I don’t think I’m being too hard on them either. It has been absolutely painful to watch the Rangers tank in September yet again.

The season is long and fans invest so much, it’s hard not to take it personally when the team falls apart so close to the finish line. But as quickly as the rats will jump off a sinking ship they will gladly cling to the floating debris when faced with the alternative.

Sep 17, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Texas Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin (2) is congratulated by shortstop Elvis Andrus (1) after hitting a solo home run during the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. The Rangers won 7-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

I jumped off the ship. The Rangers needed to win the division for me to be satisfied. A Wild Card spot simply would not cut it. Not for someone like me. That is until I was faced with the reality of no baseball in my life. Now as quickly as I jumped off the sinking ship as I saw the division slip further and further away, I am now clinging to the wreckage that is the Wild Card. The Wild Card is certainly nothing to brag about but at least it gives them a chance.

And a chance may be all they need. The Rangers currently hold a Wild Card spot by half a game. It’s perfectly reasonable to think they can at least hold onto this.

Armed with ace, Yu Darvish, anything could happen if they can just secure that Wild Card. So, what needs to be done to hold that spot? What needs to happen to give the Rangers a chance? Let’s look at the Texas Ranger’s upcoming opponents and see how realistic these expectations really are.

Tampa Bay – 2 games remain against the Rays. The Rangers need to win at least 1 of these.

Kansas City – A 3 game weekend series in Kansas City. A sweep would obviously be ideal but 2 wins would keep the Rangers in the hunt.

Houston  - Early next week the Rangers host the Astros in an easily overlooked 3 game series. This is the last chance for the Rangers before they face the deciding Angels series. The better they do here the less pressure will be on the pressure-packed upcoming series.

Los Angeles – The deciding series. 4 games against the Angels in Texas will no-doubt decide the fate of the Texas Rangers. And entire season will come down to this series. This is why we love (and hate) this game.

That’s 12 games left on the schedule that will determine the fate of your Texas Rangers. It’s safe to say the Rangers need to win 8 or more of these games to have a good shot at holding that Wild Card spot. The Angels would love nothing more than to spoil the Rangers season. Looks like they will get their shot.

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Reid on twitter @ReidDHanson

Tags: Texas Rangers Yu Darvish

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