Back to .500. 69 comments


A thankful Rougned Odor steps on the plate after his two-run homer broke a 0-for-21 drought.

 

The thing about being a .500 club is when you win a few games in a row, it seems that this is the beginning of a long winning streak and your team can always play this way and there is no way it can ever lose.

Until they lose a few in a row and it seems like there are way more questions than answers and they will never win again.

That’s the joy of being mediocre. And the frustration.

The last two games, the Rangers looked great. They were patient at the plate on Saturday, working seven walks to go with their seven hits. Yesterday, they didn’t get themselves out, striking out just four times on their way to twelve hits and ten runs. You know things are going your way when even Rougned Odor gets a hit. Two in fact. By the end of the game, they were selling t-shirts in the Rangers gift shop that read, “I SAW ODOR’S HIT.” It was a special occasion. Years from now people will be talking about where they were when Odor got his hit.

It’s going to be an up and down season. Luckily, there aren’t a whole lot of great teams in baseball and the Rangers can at least be competitive with the bad teams.

Only six of the fifteen American League teams are over .500. And, really, there are only four or five teams that are worthy of fearing: Tampa Bay, New York, Minnesota, Houston, maybe Boston if it gets its act together. The other ten teams are just not good.

Luckily, the Rangers are in a period in their schedule when they avoid any serious competition, not counting this upcoming week. The next two are at Pittsburgh, a team only one win better than the Rangers at 17-16 but against who they lost the two games last week in the Ballpark.

Then they go on to Houston for four. The Rangers have played the Astros well in their first six meetings, winning four of the six games. But those were all at home. The home Rangers win 63 percent of their games. The road Rangers, just 30 percent.

Looking ahead, there’s a whole lot of bad.

Seven against Kansas City, who currently sit at the bottom of the A.L. Central at 12-23.

Six against the Mariners, who have recently been introduced to reality, and that reality is they are a bad team. At one point, Seattle was 13-2. They’ve lost fifteen of twenty-one since. They’re over .500 now, but not for long.

Three against the Angels. They have Mike Trout. They have nothing else.

Three against the Orioles who lost 115 games last season, then lost their best players.

Then four against the Athletics who currently sit at the bottom of the A.L. West.

The Rangers, after this week, will have a stretch of twenty-three games out of twenty-six where they play the dregs of baseball, the only challenger will be the Cardinals who come into the Ballpark for three games.

Right now the Rangers are at .500, sitting at 16-16. We will see what this team really is in the next few weeks.

They have a real chance to be one of the best mediocre teams in baseball.

*****

  • Mr.C

    Good morning Kevin,
    Thanks for the look ahead of future games. If I counted correctly, you listed the next 29 games. The best of the mediocre teams in baseball should record 19-10 on such schedule which equates to an overall 35-26 (.574) on the AL West standings for the Texas Rangers.

    WS favorite Astros are sitting 1st in the West with .588 winning rate right now.

    Future is full of hope!
    I love this roller-coaster team.

    If this holds true …. predicting 90 wins might not sound that passionate anymore; but realistic.
    Would you agree?

    Let’s go Rangers
    CLAP CLAP clap clap clap

    • RR3

      I don’t think this team can win 90. It will be a dramatic turnaround just to finish .500. The starting pitching is just not going to sustain 90 wins.

      • Mr.C

        I’ll remind your words when we meet in NY for the WC game. Same way I’ve been reminding you how FANTASTIC Elvis is.

  • Nate Whitten

    The thing that bothers me about the “weak” schedule is that the Rangers have a tendency to play up, or down to their level of competition. In other words, I am not licking my chops. Pittsburg was on an 8 game losing streak until the visited Arlington, where the Rangers politely handed them two games, that would have them in a virtual tie for 1st had they won. I hold no illusions of them hanging with Houston, but if they can piece together a ‘pen, I think they can deal with their rotation, which is getting slightly better. True, getting excited about a starter making it through 4 innings while giving up 1 run is rather sad, but it is a sight better than being down 5-0 after 1. I have resigned myself to the rotation they have. Not so with the ‘pen. Your article a few days ago showed the dire straits in which the ‘pen is in. Leclerc will be OK, even if he is not the closer. Chavez needs to be replaced. I am sure that the scouts can find some serviceable pieces. If so, because the AL is weak, WC is not at all out of the question.
    The Rangers need Odor. But they need Santana and Forsythe, too. I don’t know how that all fits when Guzman returns, but somehow it must. They cannot release Santana and Forsythe. Those guys have been valuable.
    .

    • JacobMcCandles

      This would surprise some….with Santana and Forsythe hitting and with no options. I would not be surprised if DD got sent down…..lesser value and can be sent sown.

      • RR3

        Jake, I totally agree. Right now DeShields is the third-best centerfielder on the team. A team that doesn’t need three centerfielders.

        • JacobMcCandles

          Yeah its a shame..but he just doesn’t have it

          • Mr.C

            It’s definitely going to be a tough decision. While DD’s average is pathetic, he is getting on base.

            I’ve always considered DD to be a bench player and he is very valuable in later innings of close games.

            I don’t know if you noticed, Woody didn’t bring DD in the 9th inning to defend a 3 run advantage over the Pirates in the first game. He learned from his mistake, and brought DD in the 9th to defend a 3 run cushion over Toronto in their 2nd game.

            Tough decision for a rookie manager.

          • JacobMcCandles

            JD makes the decision

          • Mr.C

            Great!

            JD is FANTASTIC!

          • JacobMcCandles

            In another world

    • LoboTX

      Agree with you about Santana and Forsythe, but I’d add Pence to that list. Those are the #2, #5 and #4 best batting averages on the team. All 3 are sound defensively and 2 out of 3 have good speed.
      If we’re going to try to win with offense they need to be in future lineups as much as possible.
      Go Rangers !

  • calntom

    If this team could be one of the best mediocre teams in baseball then they would be much better than I expected

    • RR3

      Agree.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Sometimes the only difference from a good team and a mediocre one is a attempting to make a team better.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Bottom line in the end it comes down to talent

  • GoRangers23

    This game that they do every year really shows how….let’s just say, not so smart, some of the fans who answer the questions are. I really think they need to poll at least 200 fans because the answers are pretty bad sometimes. It also tends to show you which players are smart and which are…..well, not so smart. However, I will say that I am not really the greatest at thinking on my feet in front of a crowd I’m not familiar with either, so there’s that. 😄

    https://www.facebook.com/Rangers/videos/442879509857290?s=100006046322352&v=e&sfns=mo

  • GoRangers23

    Choo’s wife is beautiful! And apparently very tolerant. 😄🦜

    https://www.facebook.com/92931665383/posts/10161647913015384?s=100006046322352&v=e&sfns=mo

  • calntom

    Rangers pitching needs all the days off they can get, but NO GAME TODAY……. What a bite in the shorts.

    • RR3

      The Players Union negotiated more off days. So the season starts much earlier, ends later, and has a lot more holes in it.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Had not heard that

      • possumrld

        It is very distracting to me.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Kevin you nailed it about lack of great teams. BB is ever changing….Last yr, the best 4 teams in MLB were in the AL…Bosox,Yanks,Houston, Indians…..Bosox most likely are toast as Cleveland. Yanks have a ton of injuries to overcome, Leaving Houston. Minn and Tbay are solid but are not in Stros lge. NL now have some teams that can compete. See what happens.

    • RR3

      Boston is starting to get it together. I can’t count them out. And the Yankees need to be commended for playing better when all their players went down.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Just put Price on the DL and to repeat is always tough

        • RR3

          Price going on the DL might help them. They are a team with such deep pockets, I can see them signing Keuchel.

          Not saying they will repeat, but I do think they are playoff worthy.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Good point

  • JacobMcCandles

    Good grief…ANOTHER day off…going to play the second half of the season with no days off

  • possumrld

    Jake, it does seem like every other series the Rangers have a day off. It is ridiculous to me, and worse yet is, that it always seems to follow right after a hot Rangers offensive performance of two or three games. And then – another day off!
    Good grief is right!
    Maybe the scheduling committee needs to be submitted to drug testing, because the scheduling has certainly been far less that stellar, the past two or three years especially.

    • WhoKnowscs

      Since the start of the season
      March – 1 day off despite starting with only 4 days of games in March
      April – 4 days off + 1 postponement

      May – 4 days off

      June – 2 days off

      July – 3 days off + ASB
      August – 3 days off

      September – 4 days off.

      I think the biggest problem seems to be all the 2 game series they scheduled through the year, 8 if you include opening day then a day off and then the last 2 games vs the Cubs.

      And of those 7(or 8), 5 are of the off on Monday, Play Tues. and Weds., Off on Thursday variety.
      Fortunately we’ve only had 1 postponement so we aren’t like a few of the teams that have had many like Indians/Royals/Tigers. And of the 21 scheduled days off + 1 postponement and the ASB we’ve already used 7 of 21 plus the 1 postponement and the next 2 game series sandwiched between off days isn’t until after the ASB(though unfortunately its the week after it).

      Maybe all the current breaks will work to our advantage what with all the extra days the pitching has had to get things worked out.

      I just hope when we get to the first gauntlet of 21 games in June we don’t hit a wall.

      On

  • JacobMcCandles

    Martin Perez is 4-0 .3.50 era

    • possumrld

      That figures.

    • Mr.C

      One of those wins against the Astros
      Another against Cleveland and 2 wins against Baltimore

    • WhoKnowscs

      We’re those games at home or away?
      Remember Home Perez was good (originally)

      Also know he would be over 5.00 ERA as a Ranger with no wins or maybe 1.

  • Mr.C

    I bet Guzman gets in, Jeanmar Gomez gets out.

    You heard it first ….

    From Mr C

    90 wins baby!!!

    • JacobMcCandles

      Gomez???

      • Mr.C

        Yeap. Why not?

        • JacobMcCandles

          Who is he

          • WhoKnowscs

            reliever.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Must be brain farting…..we need the arms

          • Mr.C

            Someone needs to go and I heard somewhere Woody saying he is enjoying his bench players.

            I agree JD will make the final decision; but he is listening to Woody. That’s how Forsythe made the team.

          • JacobMcCandles

            JD interview stated he needed the arms

          • Mr.C

            We’ll see.
            Just remember you heard it here first.

            ;-P

          • WhoKnowscs

            JD needs arms, but the real problem is many of the ones he has he needs to get rid of and replace.

          • Mr.C

            …. and by “many” you mean “who”?

          • WhoKnowscs

            Chavez, Gomez

            He needs to move Miller and Smyly to the bullpen. I trust them for 1-2 innings. And get new starters. Brett Martin is take it or leave it. And I like Jurado as good bullpen arm over a so so starter.

          • Mr.C

            Agree on Chavez and Gomez.

            Will give you the benefit of the doubt on Miller ( he let me down)

            Smyly deserves more looks after his last outings.

            Don’t know what you mean about Martin. He’s been good since ST.

            Jurado seems to have found a strikeout pitch that was missing last year. If Miller moves to the pen, Jurado might move to the rotation.

          • WhoKnowscs

            It means I find Brett average. He’s not a super bullpen arm but by no means bad. If you leave him be it’s fine since finding someone better probably isn’t worth it.

          • Mr.C

            So …. by “many” arms you meant “two”.

            Chavez and Gomez

            Agree!

          • WhoKnowscs

            Okay so “many” might not be the correct term but he does need to move 2 more so 4 in total.

          • WhoKnowscs

            If Woody needs a fill in pitcher Mathis soft toss will work about as well as Gomez and Chavez actually trying.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Might as well Mathis can’t hit

          • JacobMcCandles

            And last

          • Mr.C

            You serious?

    • WhoKnowscs

      I bet soon enough someone else will go to the IL and well get another pitcher.

    • WhoKnowscs

      Andrus, Cabrera, Choo, Deshields, Forsythe, Gallo. Guzman, Kiner-Falefa, Mathis, Mazara, Odor, Pence, Santana

      Chavez, Dowdy, Gomez, Jurado, Kelley, Leclerc, Lynn, Martin, Martin, Miller, Minor, Sampson, Smyly

      The only position players batting below the Mendoza line are IKF, Mathis,
      Deshields, and Odor and you need 2 catchers. so that leaves Deshields
      and Odor from the bench based on current average. You would have a hard
      time justifying sending down Santana seeing as how he has the 2nd
      highest average on the team and Forsythe is batting .289. Guzman needs to come back since he is the only true first baseman we have. Odor had a good day yesterday so we have to see if he’s actually waking up or not. So that leaves Deshields or a pitcher. Deshields could technically be sent down but he’s probably the best CF we have(Gallo is adequate at CF).

      Dowdy is rule 5 so can’t getid of him.
      Gomez and Chavez are the 2 highest ERAs(Hearn doesn’t count).
      Miller and Leclerc are also high ERA but you are trying to work out problems with Leclerc, and Miller is currently an opener(since he rarely makes it past 4 innings he ain’t a starter) but they are mulling moving him to the pen which would open up another starting spot.

      Your “rotation” as stands is Minor, Lynn, Smyly, Sampson, Miller.

    • Tony Howell

      Rangers have 130 games left, Will need to win 74 to reach 90 wins. 74-56 can the rangers play 18 games over? That is probably what the Astros will do to reach 94 wins maybe a little better. So what you’re saying Mr C is the Rangers and Astros are pretty much the same team the rest of the way???????

      • Mr.C

        I like the way you view your math. Let me give you a different view:

        Winning 90 games requires a winning rate of 55%

        As of today, Rangers winning rate is 50%

        Envision a team where Odor and Mazara starts hitting as they are supposed to (slumps are not eternal), Smyly and Sampson start pitching 6 innings per game, and Jurado/Miller gives the team a combined 6-7 innings.

        Do you think they can bump 5 points to 55% winning rate?

        I do; and the next 29 games should make that a reachable goal for this mediocre team.

  • GoRangers23

    I wonder where Ed is today?

    • WhoKnowscs

      taking the day off like the Rangers I guess.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Mariners are already losing 6-0 after 2 innings. King Felix is pitching so it looks like he ran into a wall now.

    • JacobMcCandles

      I knew he would eventually stop

      • WhoKnowscs

        Yep, he’s lost his speed, until he learns how to pitch with Age, he’s done. Maybe he makes a change maybe not. Not everyone makes the change with success.

  • calntom

    Hickory in a pitchers dual. Yerry Rodriguez 12K’s thru 5.

    • calntom

      Engler pitches the 6th and K’s the side

  • JacobMcCandles

    Astros want to thank TX for RC

  • JacobMcCandles

    Astros win again

    • Tony Howell

      Jake the Astros are probably going to have a cake walk in this division.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Yep….i think so