Though the Texas Rangers have easily been the class of the American League West for the majority of the season, they found themselves in a rare position recently. They were suddenly not the favorite to win the division they had dominated most of the season. The Oakland Athletics surged forward around the end of July and most thought that the Rangers really needed offensive help in order to keep pace with them. Nelson Cruz’s PED suspension was coming as well and that information certainly didn’t help the offense.
All of that seemed like really good reasons for the Rangers not to compete but instead they are tied with the A’s and riding a 9 – 1 streak in their last ten games. Something appears to be working just fine for the Rangers. Without a doubt their pitching is very good and is a big part of any win streak they put on but there is something going on with the offense as well. It’s called running.
Suddenly out of nowhere the Rangers are a team that is lethal on the bases. Elvis Andrus has been on fire of late hitting .375 with five stolen bases in the last two games. They might not need Alex Rios after all if they are going to be able to come through with threatening base-running and timely hits. With that pitching staff they don’t need the greatest run scoring offense in MLB. They just need one that will score a few runs on average and let the pitching staff do the work.
It remains to be seen if they can keep that strategy up for the rest of the season but if they can I don’t see why anyone would be able to count them out of the race for the West or the World Series for that matter.