The Rangers were rolling along, up 3-1 against the hapless Athletics. In comes Jonathan Hernandez and before you know it, another bullpen meltdown. It’s 3-3.
But this team has a remarkable resilience and ability to shake off a bullpen that would crush lesser teams. Texas immediately scored eight runs in the top of the eighth to stun the Mother’s Day crowd of over two hundred people watching this game live in Oakland.
It’s a generally accepted truth that in order to win your division, you need to win against the teams in your division. That is something the Rangers have not been able to do the last six years of wandering in the wilderness.
Not this year.
With yesterday’s 11-3 win over Oakland, the Rangers won the series three games to one. That is the fifth series win Texas has had against West Division foes. They have played five series.
Five-for-five. That’s getting it done.
They beat Houston two out of three in Houston. Won two out of three against Oakland at home. Won two out of three in Anaheim to start this road trip. Two out of three in Seattle. Then this three of four against Oakland.
That’s 11-5. That’s why the Rangers are sitting atop the West. Last year they were 5-14 against Houston and Seattle. In 2021 they were 5-14 against Houston, 6-13 against Seattle, 8-11 against Los Angeles, and 9-10 against Oakland.
It’s easy to dwell on the losses and wonder where this team would be if it had a reliable late-inning bullpen. And that’s true and it’s a cause of concern. But what’s also true is, this team is steamrolling through the West right now.
And it’s been a long, long time since the Rangers could claim that.