The Texas Rangers accomplished something that they haven’t done all season long; win a game while trailing into the ninth inning.
With their 4-3 win over the New York Mets on Monday, they avoided a short freefall into third place in the American League West.
Texas Rangers Bullpen Blowing AL West Division
The Rangers are right now part of the hottest division race in baseball. The AL West is crowded with the Rangers, Seattle Mariners and the defending World Series champion Houston Astros.
Texas and Houston are in a virtual tie for second behind Seattle, who are holding onto a one-game lead going into Tuesday night matchups…
- Seattle Mariners: 75-56 while riding a four-game winning streak.
- Texas Rangers: 74-57 losing eight of their last ten.
- Houston Astros: 75-58 while riding a three-game winning streak.
While the Rangers’ recent slide back to the pack could easily be attributed to an inconsistent bullpen that blows saves at a clip of more than 50 percent. It is actually amazing that the Texas Rangers are still in contention based on these circumstances.
Since the save became an official MLB stat in 1969, 13 teams have passed the 20-save mark in a season with a conversion rate of less than 50 percent. None of those teams won more than 70 games.
The Rangers currently have more blown saves than converted saves this season. 😬 pic.twitter.com/mMT8sRx1oo
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 28, 2023
Marcus Semien Gives Texas Rangers Hope
One of the main reasons that all is MLBbro Marcus Semien. Semien is on a historical pace for driving in runs in for a leadoff hitter. His 81 RBI has already broken the single season record by a Texas player in the leadoff spot. The MLB record is currently held by Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies (2017).
Bottom line, Marcus Semien has the knack to put the ball in play and get on base. Through 131 games, our MLBbro is third in the American League in hits with 151 which is five hits more than Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani’s 146.
Two Words… Marcus Semien | Check Out The Rangers MLBbro And Best 2B In MLB Right Here On https://t.co/DG3CFNUEBb
🎥: @therealknelson has the breakdown
•#baseball #Rangers #mlb #MLBbro pic.twitter.com/TT6WAo7FYE
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) August 24, 2023
Now that the Texas Rangers have lost first place for the first time since April 8, not only is first place in the division in a perilous position, but a playoff spot in general. Here’s the playoff scenario as of this writing.
- Seattle trailed Texas by 10 games on July 19 and now leads Texas by one game.
- Despite being virtually tied with the Astros one game behind the Mariners with a winning percentage 1/100ths of a point ahead, Houston owns the first tiebreaker by record head-to-head.
- The Toronto Blue Jays are now getting in the Wild Card mix sitting 2.5 games back with a four-game series with Texas in two weeks.
Marcus Semien Rallies the Troops
After losing to the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, Our MLBbro stated a clear message for his team after falling out of first place.
“We are going to find out what we’re made of,” second baseman Marcus Semien said in an otherwise sullenly silent clubhouse. “It is anybody’s division. We’ve got to play our best baseball in the last month. Whoever does that is going to be standing at the end. We have to figure it out and get it rolling.”
Even though the bullpen has been an issue since the start of spring training (now it’s just historically bad!), the blame game (unfairly) could go to the multi-million dollar middle infield that is Corey Seager and Semien. Even though they are currently the only second base/shortstop duo to eclipse the 20-homer mark in the majors, the team’s current collapse which includes a recent eight-game losing streak will make the headlines.
The month of September will be one to watch for Rangers fans. Marcus Semien may have to keep his record RBI pace to save his team from one of the more historical collapses in recent history.