Monday, May 22, 2017
I turn away for a second and all of the sudden the Rangers are good again.
It comes with a bit of an asterisk though- the Rangers are doing a lot of things that landed them in last earlier this year- people are striking out too much, the pitching staff is letting too many runs go by, and there's a real lack of leadership with the exit of Carlos Beltran and the injury of Adrian Beltre. Yet, SOMEHOW, the Rangers are slowly trying to catch up to the Astros.
Yu Darvish is the catalyst of the comeback- after a few down seasons, he's FINALLY back to doing what he does best...which is mowing down batters like it's his damned business. He's racked up a ton of strikeouts, he's got a low ERA, and he's one of the few pitchers on the team that seems to have everything together (though Andrew Cashner and Martin Perez only need a boost in the wins category to join him).
This is interesting, because this is the first time anyone in the AL West this year has been anything resembling a challenge to the Astros. For a month and a half, everyone else was just lying back, losing games. Now that the Rangers are beginning to step up, it's becoming less and less immaculate for Houston, and they're going to need to switch out of autopilot.
Additionally, the Rangers need to start PLAYING like a 2nd place team, and get the guys hitting under .200 back up above average. They also need to get Adrian Beltre and Cole Hamels back so they can FEEL like a 2nd place Rangers team.
Coming Tomorrow- Infield rookie for a perennially good NL West team.