Getting Their Groove Back
Another game, another comeback victory. I’m beginning to pick up a trend here.
The Rangers seem to be back on track after a somewhat shaky July and even a rough start to this road trip, dropping the first two games in Baltimore last week. But Texas put an exclamation point on it over its final 20 hours with two late-inning rallies to defeat Colorado in successive games, giving the team a four-game winning streak and victories in five of the last six games.
Monday night’s game featured a three-run ninth inning while Tuesday’s rally came one inning earlier, with a four-run eighth to overcome a 5-2 deficit.
This team is bordering on the ridiculous when it comes to the way it, ahem, never ever quits. Texas now has 35 come-from-behind wins on the season – more than half of the team’s total. Seven have come when trailing after the seventh inning, most in the majors. That’s insane.
“We are winning, that’s what we are supposed to be doing,” Adrian Beltre said after Tuesday’s game. “Lately we’ve been waiting until the last few innings, so we’ll take it any way we can.”
The Rangers are expected to announce on Wednesday that Prince Fielder’s career may be over with his second neck surgery last week. GM Jon Daniels may have lost that trade with Detroit, but, in essense, he wins in the end because he is constantly staying ahead of the game with his roster moves and dedication to his scouting and coaching staff to draft and develop young talent. It’s why Daniels had the assets to trade for Jonathan Lucroy, who has turned into quite a lynchpin for the lineup, and perhaps even more so in how he manages pitchers and the overall defense,
Newcomers Lucroy, Carlos Beltran and Jeremy Jeffress all get their first games in the home dugout at Globe Life Park on Wednesday, and they better get used to it. The Rangers play 30 of their final 48 contests at home. Though it is hotter than hades these days in North Texas, a little home cooking (no pun intended) will be a nice thing.
What looked like an insurmountable division lead in the standings at the end of June quickly faded as the Rangers struggled in July while the Astros remained red hot. Texas has bounced back rather nicely over the last two weeks though, actually sending the Astros to third place in the division and padding their lead back up to a healthy divide from the Seattle Mariners. There is plenty of season left and the Rangers need to stay focused, but they’ve placed themselves back in position to fend off all comers in the AL West and finish the season strong.
The Rangers got their groove back. Now the trick is to keep it going for the next seven weeks or so, and make sure that they enter the playoffs healthy and focused.
“We never, ever quit,” Andrus said following Tuesday’s win at Colorado. “We don’t give up until the last out. Baseball is 27 outs, so we’re going to play hard until the last pitch, and so far it’s happening. You don’t want to stop doing it.”
We don’t want you to stop doing it either, Elvis. Let’s put that little thing called July in the rear view mirror and keep our foot on the gas.