Reversing the Skid (Rangers and Blue Jays Preview)

The Rangers are having a ” down time” right now, there is no doubt about that. They are losing more games than they are winning, and no matter what month it is, that is never a good thing. Especially when they helped break the Indians out of a eight game losing streak. This is one of those skids that all teams go through at some point in a major league season, and as I have said before, better now than in September.

Part of that trouble began when the team lost two out of three to the Blue Jays in Canada last week. And guess who is in town for the next four games? That’s right, the Blue Jays. The Rangers are a better team than the Jays, but they didn’t let that stop them last week. They are a better team than the Indians too, but I digress.

The Rangers problems right now, in my opinion, are mental. The pitchers don’t believe that the fielders are going to make the play behind them, so they feel like they have to throw the perfect pitch. They also feel like the offense is not going to come through for them, which has also been the case. In their last five losses the Rangers have only scored 9 runs. Of course, they have allowed 26 and it is hard to win games with that differential. Which brings me to this weekend.

Tonight the Rangers start a four game series with the Toronto Blue Jays, and in my opinion it is a crucial series for the Rangers. Since they once again surrendered first place in the West to the Athletics, the Rangers need to get back on track. The next four should all be winnable games.

Thursday:

Yu Darvish – 7-2, 2.75 ERA

Esmil Rogers – 1-2, 3.60 ERA

Yu should be able I win this game with 3 runs or more of run support if he can avoid the big first inning. He needs to to kick start this return to this team from the brink of crashing.

Friday:

Justin Grimm – 5-4, 5.25 ERA

Mark Buehrle – 2-4, 5.06 ERA

Hopefully Justin will come through with a big game performance in this one and not pitch like a rookie. We really need to remember that he and Tepesch are very young and are going to have good games and bad games. Lets hope Friday will be one of the good ones. Buehrle has pitched pretty well but not had a lot of run support. Lets hope that continues as well!

Saturday:

Josh Lindbloom – 0-1, 5.91 ERA

Josh Johnson – 0-2, 5.40 ERA

the big difference between these two starters is that one of them is supposed to be the ace of the staff and one of them is young and has only made two previous starts. Johnson has been disappointing to say the least for the Jays, and Lindbloom held his own for the Rangers the other day. I believe that if Lindbloom can hold his own again I still have faith in the bull pen to close it out. IF that happens, the Rangers will win this game.

Sunday:

Derek Holland – 5-3, 3.11 ERA

R.A. Dickey – 5-8, 5.11 ERA

R.A. Allowed 8 runs in his last start. If he pitches like that again the Rangers should win handily. Derek had what was arguably his worst start if the season his last time out. I feel like he will bounce back Sunday. The Rangers should win this game, and they should win the series.

If they don’t, this will be much more than a skid. I, for one, don’t want to see that.

Topics: American League East, American League West, Blue Jays, Home Stand, Ian Kinsler, Indians, MLB, Rangers, Yu Darvish

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  • Eric Reining

    Especially when they helped break the Indians out of a eight game losing streak.

    Pretty sure the last two nights, the Indians beat the Rangers fair and square. They were convincing wins, not anything that Texas just gave away; Cleveland deserves some credit, too.

    The Rangers problems right now, in my opinion, are mental. The pitchers don’t believe that the fielders are going to make the play behind them, so they feel like they have to throw the perfect pitch. They also feel like the offense is not going to come through for them, which has also been the case.

    Stick to the facts, man. You can tie in your own personal opinions/speculation, but toss in some evidence as you go along. Please.

    Because in this article, in particular, you kind of make it sound like every team the Rangers play sucks, and that we should have no problem beating them. That’s not how it works in baseball.

    • Ben Dieter

      It was an emotional post no doubt, and the fact is that every major league team is good enought to beat you on every night. I agree with that. I did not mix enough stats into the post and for that I apologize. I didn’t mean to come across as saying the Rangers should have handled the Indians and the Blue Jays easily, just that they left 35 on base in their last four losses and had a batting average of .191 with those runners in scoring position. They also comitted 34 errors on the season, which is almost right in the middle of the AL. The Rangers defensive efficency rating is also sixth worst in the American League at .689. Elvis and surprisingly Beltre have ten errors combined on the season. Kinsler’s bat will be big upon his return. I didn’t mean to imply the Rangers beat themselves, I meant to say they should be playing better. They can still get beat any night no matter how they play.