Derek Holland pitched his best game since Aug. 21, allowing just two runs in six innings, but it wasn’t enough, as the Texas Rangers found a way to lose in extra innings to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rangers have now lost 13 out of 16 games in September, causing their playoff prospects to look less than promising at this point.
The biggest problem with the Rangers right now is that there isn’t just one problem. Their hitting and pitching have both completely vanished at the same time. The offense is only mustering up 3.4 runs per game this month, which, if it had been for the whole season instead of just for the month, would be worst in the American League and second worst in the entire MLB, only beating out the Miami Marlins.
The pitching and defense in September isn’t faring any better, giving up an average of 4.75 runs per game. Once again, if that was the season stat, it would be second worse in the MLB, this time only besting the Houston Astros. Simply put, playoff teams are not supposed to be the second worst in any major statistic, let alone the only two stats that directly decide the outcome of games: runs scored and runs allowed.
Whatever is going on with the team, it appears that it has affected virtually every member of the team. From star pitcher Yu Darvish, who hasn’t won a game since Aug. 12, to Adrian Beltre, who is hitting just .238 in September, despite batting .317 for the year.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear answer to the question, “What is going on and what’s the solution?” Manager Ron Washington will have to have one of the best coaching performances of his career to right this ship before it’s too late. If the Rangers can get back to form in time for the playoffs, they have a chance to surprise some people. Of course, that would take players actually playing to their talent level, something the Rangers have not proven they can do.