Dog days. 67 comments

Are there only 33 more chances to witness Adrian Beltre’s magic act?


The dog days of the season are upon us. Sure, this dog has fleas and isn’t quite housebroken, has bad breathe and three legs, but it’s loveable as heck.

One thing the Rangers are seeming to show as the second-half unwinds is the ability to beat the teams that are also struggling. It’s one thing to lose to the elite teams. But when you lose to other also-rans, it’s disheartening.

While the Rangers’ flicker of hope was extinguished two weeks into the season, the Giants were within fighting distance near the All-Star break. But a 7-12 August has snuffed out any hope they had.

So, now it’s just a meaningless series at the start of the conclusion to a forgettable season. Texas should win two out of the three. They don’t face Madison Bumgarner. But they do face Pudge Rodriguez’s son Dereck in the first game, who is having a stellar rookie season. A 6-1 with a 2.25 ERA rookie season.

Mainly, the Rangers are a young team, picking up knowledge every at-bat, and seeing if they can reach milestones. With just six weeks remaining, no Rangers is close to batting .300 (Choo’s .282 is as good as it gets) or close to an ERA under 4.00 (Minor’s 4.40 leads the way). Will a Ranger be able to sneak up over .300 or under 4.00?

Assuming they don’t shut him down early, Minor might have six more starts. He has an outside chance at 15 wins. Fifteen would be pretty remarkable. That he has ten already is.  Minor has been the rare bright light in the fog of a pitching staff.

Injuries will prevent Mazara from another 100-plus RBI season. He is currently at 60. Last year he drove in a run every 6.95 plate appearances. This year, every 6.09. At that pace, he should end up with 80. Pretty productive, all things considered.

Injury killed Elvis’s season as well. Andrus was off to a blistering start, hitting .327, before losing 59 games. He isn’t chasing milestones, he is chasing consistency.

Odor has an outside chance to hit 20 home runs. But seeing as how two months into the season he had an outside chance to hit two, that’s pretty remarkable. Here’s hoping he can stay consistently hot these final 33 games and go into the offseason without the weight of failure on his mind.

Gallo is just eight home runs shy of the 41 he hit last season. He is almost surely going to pass that. He is twenty-seven strikeouts away from last year’s career-high 196. He is most certainly going to pass that as well.

Choo has a shot at finishing with an on-base percentage over .400; he’s at .394 now. He, as expected due to the fact he is somewhat human, slowed after getting on-base every game for what seemed like two months in a row. But he has put up a very productive year in his age-35 season and shows no signs of slowing down. That bodes well as that contract wears on.

And with Adrian Beltre, it’s not really about where his numbers are going to end up at the end of the season, it’s whether his career is going to end at the end of the season. Sadly, it seems he will go away quietly. No farewell tours. No parades. No fanfare. His legs might not be able to carry him another year.

And that’s what makes these last 33 games must-see viewing. Knowing every game is one less with Adrian Beltre on the field.

Every dog has his day. Beltre’s day just happens be on its twenty-first year.


Drew Hutchison (2-2, 5.71) vs. Dereck Rodriguez (6-1, 2.25)
Game time: 9:15

The Rangers have never hit against Rodriguez.
How the Giants hit against Hutchison.