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The All-Star break should have provided the Texas Rangers with an opportunity to recharge and reset before making a push for a pennant. Instead, the Rangers stumbled around the Ballpark on their way to being swept by the Orioles.
Here is a quick look at the three-game debacle:
Just Bring ’em Home Already!
The Rangers continued to struggle with men in scoring position- stranding 10 in Friday’s 3-1 loss to Baltimore. The Rangers’ inability to bring runners home has been the epicenter of their slide in the AL West. In its last six games Texas is 4-for-37 with runners in scoring position.
The only upside was Texas pitcher Derek Holland worked into the eighth inning. Despite giving up three runs on six hits, Hollands performance was solid and provided the weary bullpen with even more rest.
Wolf, What Are You Doing? Wolf, Stahp!
Game two was over almost as soon as it started. It was a good thing Holland kept the bullpen rested because on Saturday Rangers’ starter Ross Wolf failed to make it out of the third inning in a 7-4 loss to the Orioles.
In the first inning, Wolf gave up two runs. No reason to panic right?
In the second, he gave up another. Three runs isn’t too bad.
Third inning: cue total Ross Wolf meltdown. After four more runs come home, Wolf sat down and the Rangers were done.
When he sat down in the third, Wolf had faced 16 batters. He allowed 11 of them to reach base. By the end of his third MLB start, Wolf’s ERA jumped from a solid 2.14 to 3.79.
When your club is struggling to score runs, spotting the opponent seven is never a winning formula. Wolf’s lackluster performance perfectly demonstrates Texas’ need for another arm in the rotation.
Completing the Sweep
A couple of errors kept the Rangers from coming back Sunday, as the club fell to the Orioles 4-2; completing Baltimore’s sweep of Texas.
The Rangers have lost seven of their last eight and trail Oakland in the AL West by three. It gets worse; Texas has also dropped five straight games against Baltimore. After the sweep, Texas stands 1 1/2 games behind the Orioles for the final AL wildcard spot.
Texas’ record in July this season is 6-10. With nine games left this month, the Rangers must try to make up some ground on the A’s this month. It will be a tall order, as the Rangers face the Yankees, then the Indians, and finally the Angels to close out July. The goal for those next nine games, should be to finish 6-3.