They are winning with the long ball. Winning when they don’t hit one out. Winning with their bullpen. Winning when it looks like they are on the verge of losing.
Ten in a row. That is a legitimate winning streak. To go from seven games under .500 to three over in the blink of an eye is really pretty remarkable.
When you win ten in a row like the Rangers have, the credit gets shared evenly.
But, even when the Rangers couldn’t buy a win, one aspect of their game has been consistently excellent all season long.
The rotation. Yes, an actual rotation of the Texas Rangers.
The Rangers starting rotation has the best ERA in baseball. Think about that. At the beginning of the season, the Mets had deGrom, Syndergaard, Harvey, Matz, Wheeler. The Red Sox had Sale, Price, Porcello, Wright. The Nationals had Scherzer, Strausburg, Gonzalez, Rourke.
The Rangers had Darvish and Hamels and, uh, er, uh. And they have an ERA of 3.27. With a baseball best twenty-seven quality starts, in forty-three games.
What’s even more amazing is that the Rangers are accomplishing this ERA feat in an unconventional way. They’re twelfth out of fifteen in strikeouts in the American League. So they aren’t missing many bats. And they have the fourth most walks in the American League.
Luckily, they are leaving a lot of men on base.
Imagine if Tyson Ross were to come back and bring anything. Imagine if Cole Hamels comes back.
Imagine Darvish, Hamels, Ross, Griffin, Cashner, Perez, Martinez. It’s easy if you try.
Who stays? Who goes? It’s too early to worry about it because, by the time either guy were to return, chances are there will be another injury to deal with in the rotation. That’s how it always goes.
A ten-game winning streak is rare. But a Rangers team with a little rotation swagger is at a whole different level of rare.
Like Sasquatch taking a joy ride on Haley’s Comet rare.
A.J. Griffin (4-0, 3.15) vs. Justin Verlander (3-3, 4.47)
Game time: 6:15