There comes a point where you stop worrying about wins and losses. When you face it, this is a mediocre team. It’s not horrible. But it’s not great.
There comes a point when you just go to the Ballpark or tune in simply to watch baseball. No matter how ungood it is.
This team is not championship caliber. It might sneak into a wild card, but the that’s like a teenager sneaking into a frat party. It’s somewhere it doesn’t belong and nothing good is going to happen.
The Rangers average striking out nearly ten times a game. That doesn’t play in the post-season. Neither does not having a bullpen. If you think Banister is trigger happy now, in the post-season, managers get the bullpen up in the third inning and pull the starter the minute he allows two runners in a single inning. Imagine six innings of the Rangers bullpen trying to win a game.
Unless Daniels is able to totally remake the lineup with hitters rather than free swingers, unless Daniels is able to totally remake the bullpen, unless Daniels is able to add quality starters, this team has no business thinking wild card.
The concept of the wild card used to be a sort of compensation for a really really good team that just got unlucky finishing second to an even better team. The wild card isn’t supposed be a participation trophy. That’s what youth sports is about.
The Rangers could be a good team if wasn’t so bad. And Texas doesn’t have the chits in the system to turn into quality. They certainly don’t have the piece to rebuild the lineup, the bullpen and the starting staff.
Too many holes. Not enough fill dirt.
So, as the Rangers head into the half way point in the season, which they will hit on Saturday, they are light years from first place, and even further from respectability.
But tune in anyway for baseball. Tune in to watch Adrian Beltre play. Tune in to watch the incredible career turnaround that is Elvis Andrus. Tune in to see if Joey Gallo can get to 45 home runs before he gets over .190. Tune in to see if Rougned Odor ever figures it out. Tune in to see if Nomar Mazara can put together more than three weeks in a row of being awesome. Tune in to watch the final starts of Yu Darvish as a Ranger. Tune in to watch the inspiring true story of Austin Bibens-Dirks, the man who refused to give up.
And maybe, just maybe, you can see this team reach for the stars and grab a handful of immortality. By striking out a record 21 times in a game. The wild card game perhaps.
You wouldn’t want to miss that.
Austin Bibens-Dirx (3-0, 3.68) vs. Mike Pelfrey (3-6, 3.73)
Game time: 7:10
How the Rangers hit against Pelfrey.
The White Sox have never faced Bibens-Dirkx.