Texas Rangers Appear To Be Turning A Corner


The Texas Rangers have been suffering through a mostly forgettable month of July. A recent run of clutch pitching and hitting suggests a return to form.

On the morning of July 23rd, the Texas Rangers were mired in an abject July disaster. On that day, their July mark sat at a horrid 4-13. They’d lost ten of their previous twelve games. Their once impervious ten game lead in the American League West had dwindled to a measly two-and-a-half games. The hard-charging Astros loomed closely in the rearview mirror.

The injuries to pitchers Yu Darvish and Colby Lewis caught up to the Rangers, and their absences were exacerbated by a pitching staff that was suddenly unable to go beyond the fifth inning. An already taxed bullpen couldn’t keep up with the workload. It all amounted to a perfect storm that threatened to negate the tremendous momentum the Texas Rangers had built up through May and June.

Funny thing about baseball, though. Just when you think a team is forever locked in a death spiral, something happens to change a team’s fortunes. That moment can seem pretty innocuous at the time, but it can also be looked at in retrospect as a minor turning point, perhaps as a stepping stone to something much bigger.

More from Texas Rangers

For the Rangers, that moment traces back to what should’ve been a laugher in Kansas City on July 23rd. The Rangers took a 7-1 lead to the bottom of the ninth, but made it unnecessarily interesting. The Royals scored three runs and had the bases loaded with one out. Closer Sam Dyson induced a double play grounder, quelling the Royal rally and preserving a Rangers’ win.

Since that night, something has clicked. The Texas Rangers have won seven of their past nine games. This culminated yesterday afternoon in a 5-3 win and four-game sweep of the Royals. Where you once had pitchers failing to get beyond the fifth inning, you now have AJ Griffin, Martin Perez, and recent acquisition Lucas Harrell putting in quality starts and keeping their team in games.

On the offensive end, first baseman Mitch Moreland seems to be awakening from his season-long slumber. His power stroke has been at the forefront of the Rangers’ offense, as evidenced by his mammoth shot to end Saturday’s 2-1 walk-off win. He added another bomb in yesterday’s game that provided critical insurance runs.

Rookie wunderkind and outfielder Nomar Mazara is shaking the offensive cobwebs loose.  Folk hero second baseman Rougned Odor has been launching stentorian rockets into the upper deck. Hall of Fame third baseman Adrian Beltre is just being himself. It all amounts to a Texas Rangers’ squad that is finding their mojo just in time for the final two-month regular season push to the playoffs.

Next: Dallas Cowboys: An Accident Waiting to Happen?

More from Sports Dallas Fort-Worth

A critical eight-game road trip awaits, and nestled in the middle of it is a three-gamer against their second place rivals from Houston. Since pulling to within two-and-a-half games of the Rangers, the Astros have cooled off considerably, and now find themselves six games back in the American League West standings. A good Texas Rangers‘ road trip could help widen their lead and provide the catalyst for a strong finish.