June boon. 27 comments

The numbers for June are in, and they ended up looking pretty good for the Rangers. They didn’t start that way, though.

June was the team’s first winning month of the year. Getting off to slow starts is a hallmark of Jeff Banister-managed teams, and this year was no exception. The Rangers buried themselves early, played .367 baseball in April and .370 baseball in May, but rebounded nicely at .560 in June, winning fourteen of twenty-five games.

It took a nice late-month turnaround, though. They stumbled out of the gate in June, losing nine of their first twelve, including seven in a row. And then, just like that, the light clicked on. The Rangers followed their seven-game losing streak with an identical seven-game winning streak. It helped that it was against struggling Colorado, Kansas City, and Minneapolis. And it helped that the next two teams they faced were San Diego and the Chicago White Sox.

They got beat when they played the good teams in June and won when they played the bad ones. After being swept by Houston and then the Dodgers, the Rangers won five series in a row to close out the month.

Unfortunately, the Rangers ended the month further from first than when they started out. On June 1, they were 13.5 games out of first. On June 30, they slid to 16.5 games out.

The more they stepped on the gas, the further behind they fell.

The unquestionable star of the month for the Rangers was Shin-Soo Choo. His June slash line is ridiculous: .347 BA, .466 OBP, 1.087 OPS. He got on base every single game he played in the month. It’s no coincidence that once he took over the lead off slot, the Rangers started winning. Choo’s June numbers are almost identical to Mike Trout’s. So that’s saying something significant.

June is in the rearview mirror. The Rangers started July with a disappointing 10-5 loss to the hapless Chicago White Sox. They have twelve more games until the All-Star game. Seven against patsy teams—four versus Detroit and three verses Baltimore, who is vying for one of the worst records of all-time. The other five? Houston and Boston.

June is over. So is the cushy part of the schedule.

Let’s see what this team really is.