The Texas Rangers have been one of the best teams in Major League Baseball during the 2023 season, but the dog days of summer are here.
Their offense had been on a historic pace, their starting pitching was great, and the bullpen was doing its job.
Rangers fans were becoming hopefully optimistic. Then, the month of August rolled around.
While it is not good, it is not as horrible as people think. The Rangers are 13-11 in the month of August.
The main problem with that? They won 8 in a row to start the month, so they have lost 11 of their last 16 games.
In the last 15 games, the Rangers are posting an ERA of 4.98. Their batting average is .238. Getting timely hits with runners in scoring position is a thing of the past as well. Also, don’t even think about the bullpen holding a lead. When you walk 3 batters in one inning, that is a major problem.
All this to say, the preverbal dog days of summer are a real thing. The Astros are also struggling, as both teams have now let Seattle pass them for first place.
Can the Rangers fix it?
That is yet to be seen.
As second baseman Marcus Semien said after the game on Sunday: “Definitely find out what we are made of tomorrow.”
The Rangers roll into the Mets series, having lost 9 out of their last 10 and losing a 13-inning game Sunday that they had no business losing. Jordan Montgomery left the game when the score was 5-0. A Twins grand slam made it 5-4, and the Twins never looked back.
When you hit a grand slam in a game, you should win that game. The Rangers didn’t, the Twins did.
The offense is beginning to show signs of life again, but the bullpen is not. I am not sure what the Rangers can do to remedy the situation at the moment. Who can be trusted to come out of the pen?
Josh Sborz has been up and down lately. Chris Stratton has been pretty good. Aroldis Chapman has been pretty good, but Will Smith has not. They tried Jonathan Hernandez on Sunday, and it did not go well again.
This team needs to decide that it wants to win the division. They have the talent.
Do they have the drive and willpower to push through the dog days of summer and get to September still in contention?
At this point, the Texas Rangers control their own destiny. They have to play like a championship team down the stretch to even make the postseason.
Can they? Absolutely. Will they? Check back with me at the end of September for that answer.
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