So much for going out with a bang. More like 2018 is ending with a whimper.
The Rangers were shut out for the second game in a row, and third time in their last seven games. For historical context, you’d have to go all the way back to August 20 and 21 of 2018 to find the last time that happened.
Just when you get excited about the offense, you start seeing what happens when they face quality pitching and not clones of their own staff.
Sure, the Rangers beat the Padres two out of three. The Padres are a much worse team. But sandwiched around that, they played better teams, and it showed. They lost two of three to the Angels of Anaheim in Arlington, three of three to the Athletics in Oakland, two of three to the Angels of Anaheim in Anaheim, and now two anemic ones in a row to Tampa Bay.
After a somewhat promising stretch in late-July and early-August where the talk was the team was responding to their manager and he was being given credit for a nice turn-around, they turn around and reconnect with their losing ways.
As good as it seemed this team has been in the second half, it hasn’t. After last night, they are 20-31, a .431 winning percentage. That’s only a click higher than the .423 they mustered in the first half. The Rangers have now lost 15 of their last 22 games, spanning their last eight series.
They’ve proven the baseball axiom, “Good pitching beats good hitting every time.” And its corollary, “Ryan Run is not a major league hitter.”
Two hits Monday night. Four hits Tuesday night.
It seems the Rangers are trying to match their nightly hit total with their nightly attendance.
Diego Castillo (3-2, 3.24) vs. Yohander Mendez (2-1, 3.86)
Game time: 1:05
The Rays have never hit against Mendez.
The Rangers have never hit against Castillo.