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Looking back and looking ahead: Rangers hit rock bottom

Looking back and looking ahead: Rangers hit rock bottom

Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin (2) loses his bat in the third inning against the Houston Astros at Global Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

by EDDIE MIDDLEBROOK

WFAA Sports

Posted on July 10, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 10 at 10:04 AM

Each Thursday, we will look back at the week that was for the Texas Rangers and then preview the weekend series.

Welp. Four straight losses, swept at home by the Astros, worst record in baseball and lost 10 of their last 11 games. Should I go on? These are the 2014 Texas Rangers.

“The night is darkest just before the dawn.” – Harvey Dent

The Angels of Anaheim Angels   

The dreaded 20 games in 20 days is almost over as the Rangers play a four-game series against the Angels to end the misery. Texas was swept back in Anaheim June 20-22 and the Angels have continued their winning ways (won eight of 10). They are currently only 3.5 games behind Oakland and have the second best record in baseball.

It all starts with their offense, as their MLB ranks look like this: second in runs, fourth in batting average, fourth in on-base percentage and fifth in slugging. They have the best baseball player in the world in Mike Trout who is hitting .303/396/.590 with 20 home runs, 24 doubles and 10 stolen bases. Former Ranger Josh Hamilton, though nagged with injuries, is playing much better this season: 283/.368/.428. Former best player in the world Albert Pujols has a strong first half of the season with 20 home runs.

Their pitching has been average as they are 15th in the MLB with a 3.85 ERA. Garrett Richards leads the team in wins (10), ERA (2.71), strikeouts (119) and WHIP (1.07).  

7:05 p.m., Thursday: RHP Colby Lewis (6-5, 5.51) vs. LHP Hector Santiago (0-7, 4.50)   

A recent bright spot for Texas has been Lewis’ last three starts where he has 21 strikeouts to zero walks. He has seen his season ERA drop from 5.97 to 5.51 and has gone at least six innings in each of  those starts.

Santiago is still looking for his first win of the season, as he is 0-7 in 11 starts. He started against Texas on May 2 and took the loss when he went six innings, gave up seven hits and five runs.

7:05 p.m., Friday: RHP Nick Tepesch (3-4, 4.29) vs. RHP Garrett Richards (10-2, 2.71)

The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde season continues for Tepesch as he struggled in New York on Sunday. He gave up five hits, four walks and six runs in six innings as the Rangers lost 8-4. In his last five starts, Tepesch has seen his season ERA bounce this way: 4.91, 3.94, 4.38, 3.65, and 4.29.

Richards’ AL ranks: Wins (fourth), strikeouts (eighth), ERA (sixth) and WHIP (sixth). He faced Texas back on June 20, throwing six innings while giving up four hits, one run and striking out seven in a 7-3 victory. Richards hasn’t lost since May 30.    

6:15 p.m., Saturday: RHP Miles Mikolas (0-1, 12.46) vs. TBD

I’m sure many of you fell off the Mikolas bandwagon after his last start where he only lasted 3.1 innings and gave up nine runs to Houston. The Lizard King is simply doing his best, but he is in unchartered territory as a starter in the big leagues trying to face this Angels lineup.

The ol’ To Be Determined (TBD) is starting for the Angels on Saturday as of right now. I can’t say I’ve scouted TBD this season, but I still like his chances against this Rangers lineup.         

2:05 p.m., Sunday: TBD vs. LHP Tyler Skaggs (4-4, 4.16)

Turnabout is fair play as TBD switches uniforms before Sunday’s game and pitches for the Rangers. This time around, I can’t see the success being great as he takes on one of the best offenses in the game.

Skaggs struggled against Texas back on May 4 as he only lasted 2.2 innings, gave up eight hits and six runs in a 14-3 loss. He hasn’t won since May 20 and he has lost four of his last five decisions.        

Prediction           

I would like to see Colby continue to pitch well and win one of the four games heading into the All-Star Break.             

Eddie Middlebrook also writes for Paranoid Fan as a MLB and College Football contributor. He can be on Twitter @emiddlebrook.

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