Forget about winning. The Texas Rangers haven’t even led a baseball game in 63 innings. It's coming apart at the seams at the worst possible time, and the Rangers appear to be out of answers.
Take a look at these stats since the beginning of the Minnesota Twins series that started in Arlington on August 30th.
-They have a record of 3-13
-That have slugged .360%
-The pitching staff is in the bottom five of ERA and FIP (a pitching sabermetric that separates pitching from fielding)
-They have averaged 3.1 runs per game in the 16-game nose dive
The offense has been suspect at points in the season, but the pitching staff has been enough of a strength to mask it. Now, the offense has gone cold, and the pitching staff isn’t there to bail it out.
Not hitting and not pitching is normally a sure fire equation to find yourself in a tail-spin, and voila, here are the 2013 Rangers falling out of the sky like an asteroid.
They held a division lead when that series with the Twins kicked off, and heading into Tuesday’s game with the Rays, they find themselves clinging to the last Wild Card spot in the American league with the Indians, Royals and Orioles all giving chase.
Baseball is a game of ebbs and flows, and the Rangers are not dead yet. They’re on life support, but not dead. While the Indians probably have the most favorable schedule down the stretch, the Rangers still control their own fate. The three games left with the Rays and the three this weekend in Kansas City are doubly important since they find themselves in a street fight with both. Texas returns to Arlington for the last seven games of the season.
If the Rangers want to play past 162 games, their key cogs have to get it going. Elvis Andrus has done his part during the rough patch, but someone in the lineup has to start protecting Adrian Beltre in the lineup. The pitching staff must recapture what made them one of the most complete rotations in the American League for most of the summer.
The Rangers aren’t dead yet, but they are on their death bed, and the doctor is checking for a pulse.