Thumbs up. 932 comments

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Adrian Beltre connects for a home run that helped the Rangers complete the sweep of Tampa Bay at home.


Let’s hope Adrian Beltre’s thumb is feeling better. Let’s hope what we saw the last couple of days is for real. Because for only the second time this season, Beltre hit a home run in back-to-back games.

And the Rangers need him to get hot. They really, really need it.

It’s been a while since the last time he homered in consecutive games. May 10 and 11, in fact. The first of the two came against these same Tampa Bay Rays, the second against the Kansas City Royals. There has been a significant power drought in between.

Texas will go only as far as Beltre will take them. And it seems Beltre offense is going only as far as his thumb will allow.

And so far, neither Beltre nor his thumb have taken the Rangers that far, the truth be told. Through 97 games in 2015, he has just 34 RBIs. In the month of August, Beltre has just 7 RBIs. He’s driven in a run in only three of the fourteen games in which he has played this month. Three in the game in which he hit for the cycle on August 3, three on Saturday night, and one in Sunday’s 5-3 win over Tampa Bay.

That is surrounded by a whole lot of Os in the RBI column.

But he does seem to be warming up. In the Rangers current four-game winning streak, which started in Minnesota and extended with a much needed sweep over Tampa Bay yesterday, Beltre has gone 7-for-16, which is better known to you and me as .438.

It’s no coincidence that when Beltre hits, the Rangers win. When he doesn’t, they struggle. A winning team absolutely has to get production from its clean up spot, and the Rangers simply haven’t been.

The Texas Rangers have the second fewest RBIs from their cleanup hitter in the American League. Just 57 runs have been driven in from the fourth spot of the Rangers batting order. Anemic Tampa Bay has just 48. Toronto, by comparison, has 100 RBIs from its second place hitters.

It’s so barren, in fact, that the Rangers have gotten just four more RBIs from their number 4 slot in the batting order as they have from their number 9 slot.

If the Rangers are going to make any significant movement over the last six weeks of the season, Adrian Beltre’s thumb is going to have to step up and shoulder the load. After all,  that’s a lot of anatomy puns to end an article with.


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