Some MLB fans might just take a glimpse at the Texas Rangers in the standings and just ponder to themselves- does a team that currently ranks last in the AL West with a lackluster 11-19 record actually have anything going for them? Or let alone have any short-term success?
Well, that’s partially understandable for those not religiously following the Rangers this season. However, those that do follow the Rangers night-in and night-out have begun to see some solid baseball being played despite what the team’s record indicates. Over the last week, the Rangers finished with a 3-4 record, and those 3 wins turned out to be a season-long winning streak.
To begin last week, the Rangers continued their six-game homestand at Globe Life Park in Arlington and faced the Oakland Athletics, a team that currently holds the No. 4 divisional ranking at 14-14, for a 3-game stint. That series was one for Rangers fans to forget about, as they lost 2-of-3 and by a 16-8 margin. This definitely wasn’t what manager Jeff Banister wanted to see out of his team, especially against an Athletics squad that has previously won 6 of its last 7 ballgames. Game 1 on Monday night turned out to be disastrous for the Rangers when 33-year old Kevin Jepsen stepped on the mound late in the game with a 3-3 tie and then allowed 4 ER on just 3 hits. Once it was all said and done, the Rangers founds themselves stuck in a 9-3 deficit and wound up losing 9-4. While the Rangers also dropped Tuesday’s game 3-2, they rebounded on Wednesday night with a 4-2 victory.
Following the home outing, the Rangers flew up to Toronto to face the Blue Jays for a 3-game weekend series, a team that has most definitely become a rival given their consecutive playoff matchups in the 2015 & 2016 AL Divisional Series in which the Rangers fell both times. However, this time the outcome was much different. The Rangers won the first two games of this series by a combined 10-6 margin before losing on Sunday 7-2. In Saturday afternoon’s 7-4 victory, catcher Robinson Chirinos blasted two solo home runs, proving to be the Rangers’ hero for the series. Over the last 7 games, Chiniros has hit 4 home runs, driven in 5 RBIs, and has possessed an .800 slugging percentage. Another one of Chiniros’ homers came on Monday night in Cleveland versus the Indians in the top of the 7th inning.
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) May 1, 2018
The Indians ended up rallying with 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to come out victorious, but the Rangers still have two more games to play in Cleveland before coming back to Texas to take on the Boston Red Sox for a 3-game series beginning on Thursday. Following the series against Boston, the Detroit Tigers will be in Texas for a 3-game weekend series.
Moving forward, it’s reasonable to say that the Rangers aren’t perfect. One thing that’s for sure, it’s too early to call this season a complete failure just yet.
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