Last year, when Marcus Semien was a Toronto Blue Jay, he started the season in a big slump. It was early-May. He was trying to make a difference with his new team but struggling, batting in the low .200s.
Then his team went to Oakland, where he had made a name for himself the previous six seasons.
Then his bat came alive. In the four game series, he went 7-for-17. And his season took off from there. He ended up hitting 45 home runs, which is an all-time record for second basemen, driving in 102, and finishing in the top three in MVP voting.
After going 0-for-4 in his first game back in Oakland, Semien collected three hits game in Game 2, driving in one and scoring two.
Maybe this will finally get him going. It’s late May and Semien is still below the Menoza line, hitting ,.191, and is tied with every Rangers pitcher in home runs, with none.
But to get anywhere you have to start somewhere. And maybe the Sewage Dump in Oakland is that somewhere.
It has certainly worked for the Rangers, who engineered a thrilling come-from-behind victory off the Athletics bullpen, scoring six runs from the seventh inning on to win 8-5 and creep just two game to .500.
If the Rangers can sweep this series, they will come back home at .500.
So far this season, when it appears Semien is turning the corner, he turns right into a brick wall. He had three multi-hit games in a row earlier in May, and followed that hope and promise with an 0-for-27.
But if Semien gets going, he’ll carry this team on his back. He just has to get going. That seems to be the hard part.