There aren’t a whole lot of positives about yesterday’s game. The Rangers lost. The Twins, who the Rangers are supposedly battling for a wild card spot, won.
And Adrian Beltre limped off the field with a pulled hamstring that will require an MRI. There aren’t rose colored glasses big enough to make that scenario look promising.
Beltre is the heart and soul of the team. Period. He is the best player, the leader, the glue, the enforcer, the best friend, the prankster, the taskmaster.
That he was having one of his best seasons in what is a Hall of Fame career is notable. And depressing. Not because his loss shoots the Rangers chances for that second wild card to hell. That was shot to hell the opening series when Sam Dyson blew two saves. And it was blown to Smithereens when the Rangers were swept in a four-game series by Baltimore in July.
It’s depressing because watching Beltre day in and day out is one of the joys of life. And that’s not overstating it.
He is a hitting machine. The most consistent run producer. The guy who comes through when you need it most. The guy who makes plays that look impossible. Who makes throws that defy gravity.
That’s what’s depressing.
Adrian Beltre played in 80 games this season (hopefully this sentence can be amended to read “80 games this season, so far”). The Rangers were 40-40 in those games.
They are 26-27 without him.
So, from the won-lost standpoint, his loss won’t kill the Rangers’ wild card chances; the Rangers roster is doing a good enough job of that. Because the reality is, they have no legitimate wild card chances anyway. They are a .500 team with him or without him.
But the 40-40 with him and 26-27 without him stat underscores how this is a team sport, and one guy, no matter how amazingly consistent, cannot carry a team by himself.
Fingers are crossed.
Without Adrian Beltre, it’s just a mediocre team on the field. Of course, with him, it’s just a mediocre team on the field. But one with Adrian Beltre.
Tyler Skaggs (1-4, 4.25) vs. Cole Hamels (9-2, 3.78)
Game time: 7:05