Texas Rangers start an important home stand against the Tigers
By David Cash
The Texas Rangers are coming back home after a 9-game west coast trip. They started off very well in that road trip by winning the first 2 against the Mariners. When the Rangers moved on to Oakland things looked really good when the offense came alive. The Rangers managed to out slug the Athletics 14-8 and Colby Lewis managed to get his first win since May 25th. Again it wasn’t a quality start for Lewis, but he did enough for the win.
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After that win it was all down hill from there. They finished the road trip going 3-6 and that included 2 loses by Yu Darvish. Darvish was banged up by the A’s and against last night against the Angels. Although last night against the Angels it was the long ball that killed Darvish and the Rangers.
Many said the Texas Rangers last road trip would define their season and they might be right. Honestly it’s still a bit too early to label it just yet. But, you can’t argue against the fact the last road trip was an important one. Anytime you run through the gauntlet of your division rivals, it is am important road trip.
The Rangers start their 7th home stand of the season tomorrow when they host a 3-game series against the Detroit Tigers and another 3-game series against the Minnesota Twins.
Here is a break down of their previous 6 home stands
- March 31-April 2: 3 games. Philadelphia Phillies (3 games). Record of 2-1. Those two games were walk-off wins in the 9th.
- April 11 – April 20: 10 games. Houston Astros (3 games), Seattle Mariners (4 games), Chicago White Sox (3 games). Record of 7-3. Home stand included 2 walk offs and 4 shutouts.
- April 28 – April 30: 3 games. Oakland Athletics (3 games). Record of 0-3. Rangers were out scored 4-25.
- May 7 – May 11: 5 games. Colorado Rockies (2 games) and Boston Red Sox (3 games). Record of 2-3. Rangers won both games via the shutout.
- May 16- May 21: 5 games. Toronto Blue Jays (3 games) and the Seattle Mariners (2 games). Record of 2-3.
- June 3-June 11: 9 games. Baltimore Orioles (3 games), Cleveland Indians (4-games) and the Miami Marlins (2 games). Record of 3-6. Rangers won 2 of the 3 on 2 shutouts.
To sum it up, the Rangers have a record of 16-19 at home, recorded 7 shutouts, and 4 walk offs. Interpret that how you want, but to me it means they haven’t been playing very well at home. It means when the starting pitching is doing well, they win and almost half the time it will be via the shutout. Also, when the starting pitching isn’t doing well, the pitching is doing well enough to get them to the final frame for the walk off.
This home stand needs to be the one where the turn it around. The Rangers start still a good team, despite using 23 different pitchers (includes Mitch Moreland), the disabled list 20 times and 11 rookies. Last year the Rangers only used 46 players, 24 pitchers and 13 rookies all season. Also, the most times they have used the disabled list was 29 times back in 2004.
They have proven they can win games and series this season. They have seemed to only have done it on the road. Back in April they went to Oakland and sweep them there. Oakland is currently the best team in baseball and even back then they were arguably the best team in baseball. But, for some reason Globe Life Park hasn’t been a friendly place for them this season.
The pitchers have a 4.66 ERA at home while it is 4.35 on the road. On a positive note the team is batting .269 at home versus .255 on the road. If the Rangers are going to do well this week against Tigers and twins they will need to get quality starts out of Joe Saunders and Colby Lewis. Both have pitched well, but both have had issues. Also, the offense find some kind of spark.
Another important number for the Texas Rangers is 4. This season when the opposing team scores 4 or more runs the Rangers only have a record of 8-38. Of those 8 wins only 3 have been at home.
This team is good enough to win and good enough to win right now. They have a lot of talent with players such as Rougned Odor, Luis Sardinas, Michael Choice, Donnie Murphy and Daniel Robertson, just to name a few. Those guys do make a few mistakes from time to time, but they are learning and are developing very quickly.
This isn’t a do or die home stand for the Rangers, but it is an important one. They need to at least have a winning record this home stand. If for nothing else to help build their confidence back up. If they do have a winning home stand, that should keep them in the hunt for a Wild Card spot, but even that isn’t a real race until after the All-star break.