What Happened To The Rangers Run Production?

Apr 15, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers designated hitter Prince Fielder reacts during the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 15, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers designated hitter Prince Fielder reacts during the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Texas Rangers are in the middle of a four-game skid and what seemed like solid run production has all but disappeared.

The Texas Rangers were coming off a big sweep of their division rivals, the Houston Astros when they entered into the series against the Chicago White Sox that started them on this four game losing skid. They dropped three in a row at US Cellular field before coming home last night and losing to the New York Yankees. Pitching has been fairly solid over this stretch, defense has been fine which leaves one common issue…offense.

The Rangers offense started of the season pretty solid in their first sixteen games of the season where they got off to a 10-6 start. In the first sixteen games, they were averaging just under five runs a game which paired by solid pitching, will get you a win more often than not. In this quick four game skid that has them back at .500 with a 10-10 record, they are averaging 1.25 runs per game.

Has Better Opponent Pitching Been To Blame?

Over this four-game stretch, the Rangers have faced some good pitching from their opponents including possibly the best pitcher in the American League in Mat Latos. However, the Rangers put up solid hit totals in all three games against Chicago tallying five in game one, seven in game two, and eight in game three against Latos.

Jose Quintana, who pitched in the first game, came in pitching well with a 1-1 record and a 2.55 ERA. However, with the Texas offense as hot as it has been, one could expect that Texas could jump on him and not suffer their first shutout of the year. Carlos Rodon pitched game two, where Texas scored three, and came into the game with an ERA over 4.00. Lastly, Texas faced Latos, against whom they generated the most hits but just one run.

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Last night, the Rangers faced Nathan Eovaldi of the Yankees who was the pitcher struggling the most out of the four and possibly pitched the best. Texas was not able to even record a hit against Eovaldi until the seventh inning which spells disaster for a team hoping to bounce back after a series sweep.

Despite all of this, opponent pitching isn’t fully to blame. The Rangers seemingly caught Eovaldi on a night where he was feeling it but other than that, more of the blame goes elsewhere.

Players Lacking Production

This season, the Texas Rangers have seen the hot bats of some of their key players such as Nomar Mazara who is arguably the hottest hitter in the Rangers lineup. Elvis Andrus has produced at the bottom of the order, hitting .317 this year, which is second best on the roster and a pleasant surprise based on his expectations.

However, some of the other key players are producing very little to no offense.

First off, we’ll look at Prince Fielder. Fielder, has been a bright spot in run production, driving in fourteen runs for Texas, the best on the team. However, as a top of the order hitter, his batting average and on-base percentage are well below expectations. Fielder is hitting .187 so far this season with an on-base percentage of .247, both of which only top utility player, Hanser Alberto. Over this four game stretch, Fielder is just 3-15 and has driven in no runs. That will have to change if the Rangers want to bounce back tonight against the Yankees.

Delino DeShields has also struggled going 1-10, being sat on Sunday and losing his leadoff spot on Monday. This season he’s hitting just .242 and he’s hitting .087 in the last seven days.

All in all, the top and middle of the order will have to start producing more consistently for the Rangers to generate the runs we were seeing at the beginning of the year.

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