It looked like the Rangers were beginning to rebound last week, but the rosy outlook has since come to a halt.
After ripping off six straight wins, including a four-game sweep of the Blue Jays, the Rangers have since been shut down by the Cleveland Guardians and, on Monday, the Boston Red Sox. This comes amid what’s been a freefall for the Rangers, who were one of the top teams the first half of the season but have since been on a precipitous decline.
The rotation has been crushed by injuries, but of more concern has been the inability to get much offense going. Texas was arguably the best offensive team in the league earlier in the season, but their bats have gone silent.
They looked to be turning a corner last week when they put up 35 runs in four games against Toronto, but since returning stateside Texas has scored just eight runs across four games.
So, how did they suddenly go from red-hot to ice cold?
“Great question, I wish I could give you a good answer,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday in his weekly appearance on The K&C Masterpiece. “Because you don’t know what happens with this when it happens, it’s baseball. I’ll say this, Cleveland has got a good staff, they did attack us with quality strikes, offspeed pitches, and we just had a hard time adjusting there, and they have a good bullpen.
“I’ll be honest, I expected to play close games (in Cleveland). Two of those games got away from us, but like last night (against Boston), you’re getting home, you’re in front of your crowd, your fans and you’re hoping you break out of it. We got a leadoff homer then kind of went dry there for a while until (Evan) Carter’s triple. I can tell you, the hitting guys work hard to have these guys prepared, they’re on the field, we’re doing all the work that needs to be done.
Perhaps the biggest microcosm of the issue has been Adolis Garcia. The outfielder returned Monday from a short stint on the injured list, and Bochy admitted he looked rusty, something he expects will improve with time.
But after a great start at the dish that resulted in a deserved All-Star nod, his offense has cratered. The downturn started in July, and since the beginning of August he’s hit a woeful .190 with a .736 OPS in 33 games. He has nine homers in that stretch, but also has struck out 49 times.
“It just has not been the Adolis we had in the first half, there’s no getting around that,” Bochy said. “His timing has been off, he’s expanded and I think he’s been pressing. He is one guy that I think in the lineup has pressed, I think sometimes he thinks he has to carry the day or hit home runs. …
“You have no choice but to keep sticking behind him, support him and find ways to help him.”