Texas Rangers Lay Egg Vs. Detroit, Remain Atop AL West


Shaky pitching and dead bats doomed the Texas Rangers in a weekend series against Detroit. Despite this, they are still in a good spot.

Yes, the Texas Rangers, dropped two of three versus the Tigers over the weekend. Yes, they did not score a run in the final twenty-one innings of the series. Starter Cole Hamels looked surprisingly pedestrian in Saturday night’s 2-0 loss. AJ Griffin had the game walk away from him in what became a 7-0 blowout loss yesterday.

All of a sudden, the Texas Rangers have lost three of their last four games. The good times seem to have gone grim, especially in light of them winning ten of fourteen prior to the weekend wobble. Following a team closely makes one hypersensitive to the ebbs and flows of a one-hundred-sixty-two game marathon. In other words, it is easy to start clutching your pearls and wringing your hands when things go the least bit astray.

So despite the unfavorable results against the Tigers, it is imperative to take the longer view here. Since July 23rd, the Texas Rangers are still humming along with a 14-8 record. This translates to a 63.6 winning percentage. Under any reasonable metric, this is a wildly successful formula. If 14-8 is extrapolated over the course of one-hundred-sixty-two, it translates to a record of 103-59.

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While I don’t think anyone expects the Rangers to reach that rarefied air, they’re still on pace to get ninety-four wins. If that doesn’t yield a playoff berth, then it just wasn’t their year. Losing three of four will happen in the course of a given season. So long as they don’t start making it a habit, this team will be fine and ready for October baseball.

The dearth of offense in the last two games still doesn’t diminish what catcher Jonathan Lucroy has provided since he joined the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline. In his first thirteen games with his new club, he has pretty much carried the offense, stroking six home runs and eleven RBI. On the defensive end, he brings the field general quality that managers covet. Lucroy makes you remember that it’s been a lot of spare parts behind the plate since Ivan Rodriguez left the team.

Lucroy’s arrival hasn’t been without some hiccups. Pitcher Yu Darvish gave up three solo home runs in his August 2nd loss at Baltimore. Darvish later admitted he shook off Lucroy’s sign on each homer.

The lesson was quickly learned, as Darvish pitched seven strong innings in an August 7th no decision. Darvish then spun a solid 6.2 innings in Saturday night’s 8-5 win. For two starts in a row, Darvish has seemed to be in much better sync with his battery mate. In short, Jonathan Lucroy has provided a shot in the arm on both offense and defense. Credit General Manager Jon Daniels for pulling the trigger on the trade. It was exactly what the doctor ordered.

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A series against the pesky Oakland A’s awaits. Despite a 16.5 game difference in the divisional standings, Oakland has managed a 7-6 record versus Texas Rangers. Winning will not be a given, and the Rangers will have the back end of their rotation starting two of the three games. With the Seattle Mariners closing to within 5.5 games of the Rangers for first in the AL West, the series against Oakland holds a lot of importance.