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.
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.
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!
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.
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.