Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
I have had the joy of watching the Rangers play almost every game over the last two years. At the end of last year the implosion was painful but swift. This year the implosion was slower and happened earlier. It seems more painful this year. It got so bad over the last two weeks that it became more than a little tough to watch. In fact, today was the first time all summer that I completely avoided a game on purpose because the Rangers have been too tough to watch. I’ve been known to watch blowouts all the way to the sorry end but this lousy stretch has been too much to bear.
Last night the Rangers’ offense broke out on the strength of Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus and Leonys Martin. Ogando looked strong for five innings and the bullpen was lights out. I could not get enough of the highlights afterwards. The Texas Rangers are back. They beat up on Jeremy Hellickson, which is likely the weak link in Tampa’s rotation but not at all a bad pitcher. It will be good to see how Texas does tonight against Chris Archer, who is having a much better year than Hellickson.
The question is, is the glass half full or half empty? It was a spot starter that iced the Rays. It was the top of the order that did all the work in this game. Perhaps the middle of the order heats up starting tonight and the rotation gets its spark from Ogando’s spot start. It will be hard to imagine the top of the order carrying this team the rest of the way. The Rangers need the middle of their order to get going. It is pleasant to see Ogando step in and step up but the actual rotation needs to come up big to finish the year. I guess we will quickly learn if last night was an aberration or whether this team is finally waking up. It will be an exciting finish to the season if the middle of the order and the rotation follow Kinsler’s lead and get hot to finish the year.
I would like to think the glass is half full. I expect Adrian Beltre, A.J. Pierzynski and Alex Rios will start hitting soon. I expect Derek Holland, Martin Perez and Yu Darvish to step up. For whatever reason, I do not expect Matt Garza will be any good the rest of the year. I do not know about the rest of Ranger nation, though I do have my suspicions, but I was beginning to wonder if the Rangers would show up at all the rest of the season or if they had completely rolled over and died. Now that they have won one, against an important and talented opponent no less, I can go back to believing they can win. I can get back to thinking what I have known all along; this is a good team. This is a playoff caliber team. This is a team that can go all the way. I have hope again. The Rangers have finally won one and all is well.