One of the main reasons the Ranger had such a surprising run earlier this season was their uncanny ability to hit with runners in scoring position.
One this road trip, where the Rangers are 1-4 so far, they are 0-for-18 in that situation.
The problem stems from an age-old nemesis. Striking out.
The Rangers struck out twelve times last night. You just can’t sustain an offense when you cannot put the ball in play.
They struck out thirteen times in the 2-0 loss to Cleveland. =
For the third straight season the Rangers have the second-most strikeouts of any team in the American League. What’s more discouraging is, while they are holding steady in futility, it’s been a different team that has beat them out every year. So, other teams are figuring it out. The Rangers aren’t.
It’s no surprise that in the two playoff years of 2015 and 2016, the Rangers were far down the line in strikeouts.
The Rangers will be stuck in neutral until they remake their lineup philosophy with contact hitters.
After the game, manager Chris Woodward expressed his frustrations: “We have to finish off innings, finish off at-bats, we have to finish off plays, we have to finish off pitches,” he said. “We have to do a better job of finishing off plays and finishing off games.”
They have to quit striking out. Simple as that. Everything else will take care of itself.
Mike Minor (10-6, 3.06) vs. Jordan Lyles (7-7, 4.97)
Game time: 1:10