By Ben Dieter
It has been a surprisingly good season to be a Texas Rangers fan. Fans
have watched their team lead the American League West for the first 129
games of the season.
The offense has been on a record pace and the starting rotation has been
one of the best in the American League. However, that excitement came to
a screeching halt in August.
Even though the Texas Rangers have led the West for the majority of the
month, their numbers have been less than epic. The bullpen, which has
been up and down to say the least, has had little ups and major downs.
Will Smith, demoted as closer, posted an earned run average of 8.71 in the
month of August. Josh Sborz ERA was at 6.48 for the month, while Brock
Burke sat at 5.23. Their year-to-date ERA’s go as follows: Burke 3.21, Sborz 4.69 and Smith 4.01.
To say the bullpen has been a problem is a major understatement.
While starting pitching has been pretty good, the offense has been as bad as it was good to start the season. At the end of July, the Rangers led all of MLB with 5.75 runs per game.
In the month of August, they averaged 4.7 runs per game.
Part of the offensive collapse has been their inability to hit with runners
in scoring position. They have been one of the worst teams with RISP in
the month of August and have left the bases loaded on multiple
The team fell out of first place for the first time this season and
currently sit in third behind the Seattle Mariners (1st) and the Houston
The crazy thing is they are still only one game out of first place with a
less-than-stellar month of August. They have three more games against
the Astros and seven more games against the Mariners in their last 29.
The Texas Rangers' fate is in their hands. Take care of business in September and they will be playing in October.
The question that most Rangers fans are asking at the moment is what will
October look like with a bullpen that has no trusted arms?
I believe that August gave us that answer. The Rangers led late in the game in seven of their 12 losses in the month.
The good news for the Texas Rangers and their fans is that August is over,
and September is a new month. Can the Rangers put their dreadful August
behind them and get back to winning?
Most MLB teams do not get the opportunity to recover after a month-long
collapse, but the Texas Rangers have that exact chance. As mentioned,
their fate is in their hands.
A sweep of the Astros and two series wins against the Mariners and their
chance to win the AL West are great. They have post-season experience on
the roster with players like Corey Seager, Aroldis Chapman, Nathan
Eovaldi and others.
However, if September looks anything like August, Rangers fans will once again
be watching teams not named the Rangers in the postseason.
It is time for this club to prove if the first four months of the season were a
fluke or if it is a legitimate threat.