On August 29th, the Rangers had a 3 game lead on the A’s in the AL West. Now, 17 days later, on September 16th, the A’s have a 6 1/2 game lead on the Rangers. That’s a 9 1/2 game slide in a little over 2 weeks. Wow.
The Rangers just set a franchise record by losing 6 straight on the most recent homestand, and they also didn’t hit a home run. The Rangers have lost 5 straight series, being swept in the last 2, and they are 3-12 in their last 15 games. The A’s, on the other hand, have won their last 6 straight series.
Tough to swallow for a Ranger’s fan, especially after Oakland beat the Rangers out of the West last year as well, when the Rangers just needed one win against them in the final series at their house, but could not come through with it.
It’s particularly tough to watch the offense. Time after time, RISP do not score. I’m starting to cringe when they have a runner on 3rd, but there’s 2 outs.
One thing that really stands out–not getting wins behind Darvish. Darvish has an ERA under 3 (2.79), but his record shows a lack of run support. His record only shows 12-9. Darvish has become only the 3rd American League pitcher ever to lose four 1-0 games in a season. If you include no-decisions, the Rangers have lost more games than won with Darvish on the hill — they are 14-15. That is an incredible loss of opportunity! The ace is putting up ace numbers, but still not getting wins..
The next 2 weeks are crucial. They start a series tonight with the Rays, who share the lead at the top of the Wild Card race.
I was watching the game on Saturday, and the commentator Eric Karros brought up a good point — if you’ve lost as much as the Rangers have lately, do you deserve to be in the postseason? I agree. If the Rangers continue to play at this rate, quite frankly, they don’t deserve to be there. As a Ranger’s fan, let’s hope we see some solid wins. We know it’s an uphill battle.
One final note…Nelson Cruz. If the Ranger’s did make the playoffs, would he play? From what I’ve seen lately, I’d love to see him back in the lineup. I know, he screwed up. It certainly hurt my perception of him, b/c I loved watching him, I loved his smile, his enthusiasm, and just as much watching his talent. His cannon from right field, and his monster shots. Of course, he had the blunder of not catching the ball in right field in the 2011 WS that could have closed the deal. That’s an easy one play to point to and highlight for finding the scapegoat of the game and series loss. But would the Rangers have made it TO the WS without him? He was the ALCS MVP, he did break the record for most home runs in a postseason series with 6, and 2 of those 6 came in extra innings.
My favorite moment in Rangers’ history is watching him smash a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 5th off David Robertson of the Yankees in game 6 of the 2010 ALCS. The Ballpark in Arlington roared like I’ve never seent it.
Whether you like it or not, Cruz is a major part of Rangers’ postseason history. He has been clutch. In my opinion, if the Rangers make the playoffs–he needs to be in the lineup for your best chance to win. He took his suspension, he didn’t argue, and if his teammates are willing to accept him back, he should play. True, he’s going to hear some serious booing from opposing fans, as well as some of our own (which may sometimes be drowned by the Cruuuuuuz chant, depending on how well he would perform). But, what are you going to do in his shoes? Be one of the best, and then just hang it up? No, I think not. He’s not my favorite Ranger anymore, but I’ll also cheer for him if he’s with us again. He’s been a major part of the organization, and I’m not giving up on him.
As a side note, Bartolo Colon was also suspended for 50 games for PED use at the end of the 2012 season with the A’s. Colon came back this year with the A’s again, and is now their ace, having a 16-6 record and a 2.73 ERA. Where would the A’s be without him this year?