#2 Offense has to come through with runners in scoring position
The calling card for this team through the 40-20 start was primarily two things, a dominant starting pitching staff and an offense that had an unreal batting average with runners in scoring position. They led the league for much of the first half in that category. The team batting average reached as high as over .330 into the month of June. That production slowed down as the team entered the break and has not really reached those levels that were seen through April and May.
The issue became so pressing with the team that Marcus Semien spoke up on the road trip and implored the team to try and win a game without a three-run home run. The home run is not a bad thing, but I think he could sense that the team had become too reliant on home runs and was not doing the little things that it takes to win baseball games. This is what he said to the media on the road trip,
"When things are going great, we just focus on who we’re playing against and go out there and score eight or 10 runs like we’ve done a lot. But when the offense is struggling, we talk about scoring run. And it’s not just getting on first and then Corey hits a home run. It’s getting on base and scoring from second on a base hit, going first to third. Sometimes you lose focus. I think those things will help us get to the playoffs."- Marcus Semien
Those comments led to the Rangers winning consecutive one-run games in New York. That included their first win when trailing in the eighth inning or later this season.
They are going to have to find multiple ways to score runs especially against some of the pitching staffs they will be facing this month. September got off to a poor start as the Rangers could only manage to score on a Corey Seager solo home run on Friday night. Scoring runs will certainly not be easy, but they can make it less difficult by remembering to do the small things and playing good situational baseball. That starts with Semien and Seager and goes all the way down the lineup to Leody Taveras. It will take an entire team effort to get this team to the finish line and into the playoffs. If they can do that they will certainly be better prepared for who they will face in October.