The Rangers are officially in their first slump of the season. One win in their last six games.
The rotation, which had been such a strength, is suddenly threadbare. Jacob deGrom is lost for the year. Jon Gray has a blister, which is usually a nagging, lingering thing. Martin Perez has turned back into Meltdown Marty. Andrew Heaney was always a fifth starter and is pitching like one. Dane Dunning has come back to earth.
The bullpen still has more questions than answers. Jose Leclerc is not the answer to anything other than, “Who should never enter a game with a lead of less than ten runs?” How long he remains a Rangers is the main question.
Now, suddenly, the offense has stopped firing on all cylinders. Nobody expected ten runs a game. But what has been especially crushing is their inability to get the big hit when they really need it. Too many opportunities lost that previously had been pounced upon. So, rather than go for the jugular and take over the game, the Rangers are sputtering.
It’s funny how a season turns so quickly. Two weeks ago, the Rangers rotation seemed like one of the top three in baseball. Now it’s Eovaldi, Gray when he can go, then hope that Dunning, Perez, and Heaney come through.
Hope is what the Rangers rotation relied on the past six seasons. Hope gets you 102-loss seasons.
All they can do is re-load, try again tonight, and see if they can get a good start from Heaney. And that the offense comes through. And that they don’t have the impulse to put Jose Leclerc in the game. Unless they are up by ten. Then, maybe.