Limping to the finish line.

Rangers shortstop Corey Seager needs to improve on his defense that’s committed the third-most errors in baseball

It seems the long darkness of the off-season arrived early. The Rangers have now lost eight in a row.

It’s an insult to suggest professional athletes have given up. That’s not what this is about. It’s just that the small goals this team might have had have once and for all be vanquished. 

Could they have made a run at .500? They were eleven games under when Chris Woodward was fired. They got that to nine games under. Not much progress but still heading in the right direction. A nice run at the end of the season like Tim Bogar was able to orchestrate when he took over for Ron Washington in 2014 would have been important.

Then, this. Then, eight losses in a row. Then, folding up the season early and playing out the string. Not that it matters but they are in danger of slipping back into fourth place, where they haven’t been since May 15. That’s the kind of thing that might cost Tony Beasley a chance at the manager job full time.

So, really, from a fan’s perspective, the final twenty-nine games comes down to these few things: Seeing if Josh Jung will get a crack at major league at-bats. Wondering why Nick Solak is getting a crack at major league at-bats (the answer is to help his trade value but really how much can that help?) Seeing if the Martin Perez magic has worn off. His August ERA is 4.24 and he pitches today against Houston. Seeing if Leody Taveras, Bubba Thompson, and Ezequiel Duran have staying power. And, wondering, where the Rangers to to learn how to play defense? Is there a school they can attend? Is there a crash course? Can they take a magic pill and suddenly wake up an know what that big leather glove on their hand is doing there?

The next six games are against Houston and Toronto. Houston is in the playoffs, playing for home field advantage throughout as well as the continued bragging rights of crushing the Rangers. Toronto is fighting for its playoff life, barely holding on to the third and last wild card spot.

It would be nice to see the Rangers come off the mat and show signs of life. It would be understandable if they don’t. Not because the team has given up. But because the team isn’t very good to begin with. 

Bring on the off-season. The Rangers need a head start on that because they have a lot of work to do in it.