4 Things the Texas Rangers must do to make the playoffs

The Texas Rangers enter September in the mix for the AL West and the wild card for the first time since 2016. Here is what needs to happen for them to extend their season deep into October.

Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers
Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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#1 Bruce Bochy needs to work some of his bullpen magic

One of the season-long issues for this team has been its bullpen. They have one of the worst save percentages in the entire league. They are coming off a road trip that saw them blow six saves in nine games. They started the homestand on Friday night with a blown save by Brock Burke in the 7th inning on the way to a 5-1 loss. Their save percentage is under 50% in 2023. Lately, it has not mattered whether it is Aroldis Chapman, Will Smith, Jose Leclerc, or Josh Sborz closing the game as they have all had their issues.

Bochy came to Texas and had a reputation as a bullpen maestro and a master of handling a pitching staff. That comes from more than 25 seasons of sitting in the dugout and a playing career spent behind the plate. I am sure he has seen it all including having a bullpen that struggles as much as this one does.

Bochy needs to be unconventional this month and play matchups as much as he can. That includes bringing in Will Smith to face left-handers with one or two outs so that Bochy can better control what batters he faces. That means using players such as Martin Perez, Glenn Otto, or Cody Bradford in certain late-game situations if the matchups call for it. He does not need to hold himself to specific players in specific roles.

If he does this it will make Texas much harder to game plan for as teams will not know what pitchers to expect in what situations. Bochy and the bullpen need to adopt the attitude of everyone being ready for any situation and doing whatever it takes to get to the end of the game. These games are too important for the bullpen to continue blowing leads at the rate they have been all season long.