So much for "The First-Place Texas Rangers."
After a blistering hot May, our beloved ballclub has slipped into the deepest of slumps. Hell, did I hear that in the past couple of weeks only the Washington Nationals have a worse offensive production than the Rangers? How bad? Let T.R. Sullivan tell you.
For the past month or so, the Rangers have been in sole-possession of first place in the American League West. No more. Having lost five straight, the Rangers go into tonight's game in Phoenix, tied with the LA Angeles for first. I suspect it won't be long until they're a good five or six games up before heading into the All-Star break.
Who woulda thunk it'd be the Rangers' pitching that has kept them atop the division for so long? And who woulda thunk it'd be the offensive production--or lack of--that has pulled them down.
It's not just Chris Davis, whose batting average has now slipped below that of Carlos Zambrano--a PITCHER, for God's Sake! The whole team is in an epic slump. Team average has slumped from .274 in May to a tepid .219 in June. Only two starters, Mike Young and Marlon Byrd, are still hitting above that .274 figure.
Given their performance in this current road trip to the west coast, it wouldn't be hard to argue that the batting slump is starting to pull down their defensive performance as well, with errors starting to pile up, culminating in last night's embarassing little-league oopsie where catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia threw a return pitch over the head of the pitcher, allowing a run to score. Not that it mattered. By then, the Rangers were losing 7-2 to the Arizona Diamondbacks, bottom dwellers of the NL West, and 11 games under .500.
It doesn't seem too far-fetched to think that at this rate, the Rangers will be in third in the division behind the Seattle Mariners. Perish the thought.
For a month, though, we sipped from the chalice of the Division Leader. At one point, we even had the best record in the American League. But no more. And I'm guessing we've reached the high water-mark of the season.
It was fun while it lasted, though. . .