Texas Rangers: Squandering Opportunities

Rangers are giving great effort yet they are still squandering away great opportunities. Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi

By Wiley Singleton

The Texas Rangers are not the team they were in May. They are no longer defined by an awful pitching staff and a porous bullpen. Instead they have been a team with solid starting pitching. Dane “Stunning” Dunning has been great but has lacked defensive help. Martin Perez was the AL May Pitcher of the Month. Jon Gray has been effective since returning from a back injury he got while training which is why he had to hire a Nevada work back injury attorney. The Rangers are some sloppy defense and a couple blown saves away from being on their best streak in six years.

Series at the Angels…

Game 1 – The Rangers faced the hated Angels in “LA” in a two game set in Anaheim. Noah “Thor” Syndergaard got revenge in this start. Last time Thor faced the Rangers he was knocked out in the first inning. He turned in a vintage Thor performance, clearly embarrassed by his previous performance against the Rangers. Thor went 8 strong, giving up 1 ER. The Angels bullpen came in at the end and made things interesting, but the Rangers still lost. Loss 5-3.

Game 2 – Glenn Otto was solid in his start. 5 IP, 1 ER, 3 H. The Angels started Reid Detmers, who is a youngster without the talent to cut it in the big leagues. The Angels employ multiple scrubs like this every season to fill their rotation. Dim writers out of “LA” are somehow always shocked when this results in a middling finish. For every trend following dope that picks the Angels to win the division there is a Reid Detmers getting shelled. Not only did the Rangers manhandle their rival this game, but they started a hilarious downward spiral for the Angels that was the 1st of 11 straight losses. Win 7-2.

After the short two game set, the Rangers traveled to Oakland to play in front of meager crowds. 

The Rangers smashed Oakland in the first 3 games of their 4 game set. The Oakland AAA’s are a disgusting joke team. They sold all their assets this offseason and no one wants to watch them be terrible. The average Oakland fan has realized Moneyball was a lie and losing in the playoffs for 20 straight years does not make you a dynasty. The A’s fans who have not figured that out are dissuaded by the crime-ridden area the stadium is in. The fans do not care. Ownership does not care. Sell the team. 

The Rangers had a golden opportunity to sweep the Jokeland A’s and build serious momentum. Sinkerballer Dane Stunning was pitching. Stunning has been exceptional in his last few starts. His defense has let him down and he has suffered undeserved losses. This happened again in the form of a truly grotesque 5 error performance. The defense let Dane Stunning down again, this time in a way that was truly repugnant. This was an easy game to win that was frittered away by sloppy, listless play. Skipper Chris Woodward should have screamed at the offending infielders like NHL coach John Tortorella. “Torts” as he is known in the NHL, employs a stylistically similar approach to 1980 Phillies Manager Big Dallas Green. Both coaches were “screamers” who had no problem belittling their players and treating them like subhuman chattel. Perhaps the Dallas Stars should hire Torts, as Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn turned in yet another season of listless disappointment. Without a man like Torts to belittle them, Seguin and Benn will remain checked out until they milk the remainder of their inflated contracts. The Rangers losing this game against the A’s was like the Stars losing Game 7 against the Flames in the playoffs a few days ago: it proves they are not a real playoff threat.

The Rangers took on the dangerous Rays in Texas after this wasted sweep opportunity. 

Game 1 – The Rangers got out to an early lead in this one and did not look back. Glenn Otto was exceptional in this start. Matt Moore followed him and showed his old team why they got rid of him. Moore returned to his classic Rangers form, failing to record an out and giving up 3 ER. The Rangers had too much of a lead for it to matter. Kole Calhoun continued to hit well. Win 9-5.

Game 2 – This game was reminiscent of the Boston series early last season. The Rangers won that series and brought their record up to .500. They were the 2nd Wild Card seed at that time. It turned out to be the best position they were in all season. They did well against an AL East powerhouse and got to an even record. Martin Perez was great in this start. 7 IP, 0 ER. Josh Smith came up to play 3rd base after Zach Reks got sent down. Smith got hurt a couple games later and was replaced on the roster by Ezequiel Duran. Duran was one of the top prospects the Yanks traded for Joey Gallo. Andy Ibanez was sent down for being awful. He was replaced by Steele Walker. Walker was acquired in the Nomar Mazara trade. The Rangers also cut Willie Calhoun. The Rangers are clearly going young and giving their prospects a fair shake. Perez hard carried this game. The Rays offense was shutout. The Rangers got to .500. The future looked bright and fans were excited. The real bummer of this little run is that the Rangers are a few self-inflicted mistakes away from this being an electric, season-defining run. Win 3-0.

Game 3 – Marcus Semien came up insanely soft from the leadoff spot in this one: 0-6. As Marcus continued to wallow below the Mendoza Line, the Rangers blew a 2-0 lead late. Losing to a good team like Tampa is no big deal, especially when you take the first two games. However, the Rangers are teetering on the edge of being a legitimate threat. Not a World Series threat per se, but an annoying plucky team that could make the 3rd Wild Card seed. The Rangers will need to get hot and ride momentum and streaks to accomplish this. They continue to falter right before the major game that would set off a winning streak. Loss 4-3.

Check out these pics from Game 3: The Link

Game 4 – The Rangers got dominated by Corey Kluber again. He did it as a Yank when he threw a no hitter I attended. He did it as a Ranger lasting 1 inning before getting hurt. And he did it as a Ray, turning in 6 sharp innings. The Rangers offense never got going. They turned a big series they were up 2-0 in against a great team into a mere split. Loss 3-1.

Hosting the Hated M’s…

Game 1 – Overhyped Seattle visited Texas in the midst of a sluggish start. The Rangers took the lead in this game behind Dane Stunning then choked it away. Joe Barlow gave up a homer in the 9th when the Rangers were up 3-2. Barlow grooved a heater to one dimensional slugger Eugenio Suarez. Suarez smoked it and the Rangers choked another won game. Loss 4-3.

Check out these pics from Game 1: The Link

Game 2 – Adolis “El Bombi” Garcia hit a 3 run homer to carry the Rangers to a 3-2 lead. Glenn Otto and the bullpen were also good in this game. Win 3-2.

Game 3 – The Rangers again found themselves one win away from a massive momentum boost and win that could start a season-defining run. They found a way to lose this game in a hilarious fashion too. Up by 3 runs in the 9th, Matt “MFB” Bush came in and made a fool of himself and blew the save. The Rangers bullpen was of course unable to deal with the gimmick runner and lost in extras. Loss 6-5.

Check out these pics from Game 3: The Link

It is vexing to see the Rangers get so close to a momentum shifting win and fritter it away. However, the Rangers getting so close to these achievements means they are improving and getting closer to being legitimately competitive. It is way better for the Rangers to lose these games close than get laughed out of the game 7-1 like they were earlier this season. 

This was one of the most vexing couple of weeks of Rangers baseball; but that is because they are finally getting competitive again. 

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
6/6   @Guardians     6:10 p.m.
6/7   @Guardians     6:10 p.m.
6/8   @Guardians     6:10 p.m.
6/10 @White Sox     7:10 p.m.
6/11 @White Sox      1:10 p.m.
6/12 @White Sox     1:10 p.m.