August started much like July. With a Rangers loss. But it started with a much bigger dark cloud hanging over it.
After going 10-17 in July, Texas lost its first August game to the suddenly relevant Baltimore Orioles, 7-2.. It was a loss that might be bigger than most other late-season losses. Because Rangers starter Jon Gray left in the second inning with an injury of some kind.
If it’s the kind Rangers pitchers usually have, where it’s nothing and they will not miss a start but it’s actually something and they miss two months, then this will be a devastating blow to a Rangers rotation that was just two arms deep. Now one.
Then, if the Rangers deal Martin Perez before today’s trade deadline, the Rangers will be zero arms deep.
Gray never looked comfortable on the mound. He took a long time between pitches and couldn’t seem to locate anything. He said he felt something on his left side every time he threw. Then, on his last pitch, he felt it even more. So, out of the game he came.
Even so, a Ezequiel Duran botched play on what should have been an easy double play would have gotten Gray out of the second with no runs scoring. As it was, three runs scored. And, Gray walked off the field with four runs hanging over his head.
He walked off the field with a dilemma hanging over the Rangers front office. If Gray is out, do they now trade Perez? Without Gray and Perez from here on out, where do the wins come from?
A loss is a loss is a loss. But this one might hurt more. Because this one might lead to many more losses since the Rangers have nobody to replace Gray with, assuming he is down for the count.
Texas desperately needs pitching now. Should they trade Perez, it will be whatever word worse than desperately is.