Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The Rangers are in dire straits down 3.5 games to the A’s with only 17 games to play. The A’s come into town looking to relegate the Rangers to the wild card race with a series win. Rangers’ fans cannot forget the incredible implosion last year and are justifiably a little panicky. As a fan that is emotionally invested in the Rangers I have had to fight the feeling of doom as this team has been in free fall over the last two weeks. I, like most Rangers fans, feel about ready to call it on this team’s chances of winning the division. This team can hardly play worse than it is playing now.
We have seen the Rangers struggle over long periods this season and it seems right when they cannot play worse they find themselves and put together a winning streak as impressive as the losing streak was awful. There are 17 games left. This team has shown the ability to play at an incredible level over long periods. Now is the time for that hot streak. This team could win 15 of the remaining 17 and take the division but if the streak does not start against the Athletics this weekend it will take both an incredible streak by the Rangers and some poor play from the A’s to pull this off.
The Rangers have an opportunity to get hot and peak at the right time this year. Heating up now and finishing the season playing like the great team they are, rather than the horrendous excuse they have been lately, puts them in a great place to compete in the postseason even if they only haul in the wild card. The Rangers cannot keep losing at this pace or they will not even win the wild card and they cannot afford to fall any further behind if they want to win the division. That being said we know this team can play better. Every time they have looked dead in the water this year they have responded with monstrous hot streaks some of which have spanned 20 or 30 games.
The bottom line is this team can beat any major league team on any given day. They can win a series against any team. They can win several series in a row against the very best teams in the majors. Imagine a 30 game hot steak starting today. This is an elite team. Have faith Ranger’s fans; this team is a veteran, battle tested team and they know how to play in big games.
No one should blame you if you are ready to write this team off. Even if they hold onto a wild card spot, if they play like this in the postseason it will be another quick exit. I am tired of hearing writers and radio show hosts call Rangers fans spoiled. This team has been, and continues to be, a championship caliber team. Fans should not settle for making the playoffs any more than the players should. I implore you, Rangers faithful, to have high standards for this team. We are not a team whose loftiest goals are a mere postseason berth. We should not be happy with a ticket to the dance; we are here to win it all. Have hope. Stand behind this team. When you hear someone predict the Rays to knock us out of the wild card or the Red Sox to knock us out of the divisional series, laugh. This team can go toe to toe with any team in the league and they have shown it all year. We are one hot streak from being the champions.