Seventh heaven it’s not.

The Rangers have been playing like a Little League team lately with their sloppy defense—dropping easy fly balls, making throws that sail into the outfield, unable to complete routine ground ball outs. 

It’s too bad, though, that they aren’t playing by Little League rules, which dictate a game’s length at six innings. The Rangers would be running away with the division of that were the case.

Because when they get to the seventh inning is when they fall apart. The seventh has been the Ranger’s Achilles Heel this year, as it was yesterday in the Rangers 4-1 loss to the Angels. Once again unable to generate any offense, the Rangers scored on a Corey Seager solo home run in the fourth, and Michael Lorenzen was cruising again, once again getting no run support.

Then, he committed the unpardonable sin of allowing a baserunner after the sixth inning, and had to be immediately banished. Then the Rangers bullpen did what it so often does, it failed miserably in the seventh inning.

The Rangers, after giving up four runs in the seventh yesterday, have now been outscored in the seventh inning this year 46-10.

Those forty-six runs are, by far, the most the Rangers have given up in any single inning, with the next highest being thirty-two runs in the second. 

In fact, the Rangers have outscored or tied their opponents in seven of the nine innings this year (and have yet to give up a run in extra innings).

But they sit today at 24-24—a mediocre team that cannot hit, with shabby middle relief, and brilliant starting pitching—mainly because they fall apart in the seventh inning.

It’s no coincidence that’s the inning after they remove the starter. 

Maybe letting the starter go deeper is a better thing. Maybe a tiring Michael Lorenzen finishing the seventh yesterday was a better choice than a fresh Jonathan Hernandez or Grant Anderson coming out of the pen. 

Maybe, since the Rangers have only two reliable relievers in David Robertson and Kirby Yate, the Rangers should push their starters to go seven instead of six. 

Because that bridge to get to Robertson in the eighth looks like that bridge in Baltimore right now.