It Comes Down to This!

by Charles Parker on September 11, 2017

All any team can ask when going down the stretch run of a season is to have a chance to be in control of your own destiny.

The Rangers had that chance this weekend as the Yankees came to Arlington. Friday night was the epitome of everything this team is capable of on any given night. The Rangers chased Tanaka, one of the Yankees best and hottest pitchers on their way to an electric win.

Saturday however represented the epitome of everything that has gone wrong this season. After seven strong innings of only allowing one run, Andrew Cashner surrendered to the bullpen in a tie game. The bullpen promptly blew the lead, the bats were silent, and they lost 3-1.

Sunday brought a chance to at least win the series, at home. AJ Griffin was touched early and often, so was every other pitcher the team sent out as the Bronx Bombers lit up the Rangers for 16 runs.

This series is exactly what the Rangers have done all season. Show signs of brilliance followed by complete disaster making the Bad News Bears look good. That inconsistency is the trademark of this season. Yet, unbelievably the Rangers are not out of the wild card race.

The Mariners are in town for the next 4-days, and make no mistake the season does come down to this. There are 5 teams tied with 71 wins, that is incredible and a story of its own. The Angels have 73 wins, and the Yankees thanks to the Rangers now have 77 wins. That last wild card spot is begging for someone to step up and take it.

Sweeping the Mariners will be nearly impossible, but consider the math. The Rangers have 20 games left. These 4 at home against the Mariners are huge because they get to follow this with a brutal 9 day road trip.

Winning on the road is harder than at home, and winning series now may not be enough. Assuming that the Rangers did win every series the rest of the way that is 11 wins. That would finish the season with 82 wins. My guess is that one of the 6 teams competing for that last spot is going to win 12 or 13. There simply is no margin for error. All of the remaining games are in the division too, so it is Astros, Mariners, Angels, and A’s the rest of the way.

This is the time of year where every error is costly, players are banged up and playing through pain, and every bad pitch is dire. Can the Rangers buckle down without Adrian Beltre, Carlos Gomez, and now Roughned Odor?

Some of these young guys are going to have to grow up real quickly, and the pitching has to be better than this weekend. Otherwise, we can start planning for the off-season.  In my opinion anything less than a sweep of the Mariners at home this week ends a realistic shot at the last wild card spot.

Enjoy the ride folks, at least your Rangers are in contention!

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