Long strange trip. 157 comments

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The first half is over.

It’s only appropriate to sum up a team that called it quits this month by quoting the Grateful Dead, a band that called it quits this month, “What a long strange trip it’s been.”

But what kind of trip has it been? With a horrible April, a great May, and up and down June, and a horrible July, you could say it’s like a roller coaster.

But don’t you usually get to the end of a roller coaster feeling exhilarated and wanting to go again?

Show of hands. Who wants to ride what we have seen from the Rangers in 2015 again?

To me this long strange trip is more like a car ride to Evansville, Indiana, where my in-laws live.

It’s a excruciatingly arduous, drive with very little to see, any minute you think the engine is going to overheat, you get horrible gas mileage, you want to get out and stretch your legs but that just delays the journey even more, you put it on cruise control and fall asleep at the wheel for long stretches of highway, just when the scenery looks pretty, you have to turn off the highway into something ugly that resembles Kentucky because that’s what it is, you have bugs splatted across your window, your butt is killing you from sitting all that time, your air conditioner is broken and there’s no relief in sight, your tiny four-cylinder engine barely has enough power to make it up a hill, you do a lot of cussing at other cars, and when you get there, you are in Evansville, Indiana. ( click right here for more info on my car)

That pretty much sums up the first half of 2015.

The Rangers are stuck in Evansville, Indiana. In the middle of nowhere with no hope of escaping.

So, at the theoretical half-way point, here is where the Rangers are: 42-46, on pace to win 77 games.

Don’t look now but Texas has won just one more game than the two teams below them—Seattle and Oakland.

They are six games out of first but only two-and-a half games out of last. In fact the only reason the Rangers aren’t in last place is because Oakland has played three more games than Texas. It’s just a matter of time before the Rangers catch up with Athletics on the number of games played, and the Athletics catch up with the Rangers in the standings.

Yet, as nagging rumors continue to swirl about the Rangers adding Cole Hamels, the Rangers desperately need offense (which is the only thing that gives credence to the Cole Hamels rumor—of course Jon Daniels would trade for pitching when the team is dying of offense).

This team nearly got no-hit to open the season, and it really hasn’t gotten any better. We should have paid attention to the early warning signs there was no offense.

The Rangers played 21 games in April, and scored two runs or fewer in 10 of those, going 7-14. They played 30 games in May, and scored two runs or fewer in 7 of them, going 19-11. They played 27 games in June, and scored two runs or fewer in 11 of those. And they have played 10 games in July and scored two runs or fewer in 6 of those.

So in nearly forty percent of their games, the Rangers score two runs or fewer. Add the twelve games in which the Rangers scored just three runs, and the Rangers offense has been pitiful in more than half its games.

How is this team even anywhere close to .500?

Starting pitching.

So let’s bring on Cole Hamels. He could lose 2-1 games with the best of them in Arlington.

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