The mad dash to the trade deadline is on. With a brief intermission on Monday for the All-Star break.
The Rangers have three games against the second-place Angels. Which is good. Because in games against the three teams currently in first place the Rangers are 5-18.
In games against the teams currently in second place the Rangers are 9-4. If there was ever proof that this is a second-tier team, that’s it.
Maybe there is hope that if they capture that second wild card they could win the wild card game. Since you never know which Rangers team will show up from day to day, they could plausably win a one-game shoot out against another team at their level.
But as we have seen, when they have to play up, they fall down. A longer series, they aren’t winning. Not against teams above their level.
What good would it do this franchise to at best go one-and-done in post-season? None at all.
So, for the next four weeks, it’s going to be an endless parade of unfounded rumors—mostly wrong; speculation—mostly made up; guessing—mostly way off base; and just plain having writers pull things out of their proverbial crevices about who is going where.
Beltre will be dealt. Andrus will be gone. Cole Hamels will be ticketed for somewhere else. All those stories will surface until the deadline. Absolutely none of those things will happen.
What will happen is the Rangers will cling to the delusion that they are a play-off caliber team.
Thank goodness they don’t play a first place team for a while. Unless, of course, the first series after the All-Star break, when they go into Kansas City, who could very well be in first place by then. And we know what will happen if they are.
Let the mediocrity continue.
Ricky Nolasco (4-9, 4.42) vs. Cole Hamels (3-0, 4.12)
Game time: 7:05