— By GREG WEBB
It has been a relatively long time since Rangers fans have seen such a drought ... and I’m not referring to the incessant lack of rain, and solar baking we are in the beginning throes of experiencing for the next three, four or perhaps even five months.
I’m talking about the thirsting for Texas Rangers trips around the base paths. You know — offense. Double digits, blowouts (the good kind). Just a comfortable lead would be nice, as the Rangers pitching staff would no doubt agree if it was PC to mention it.
As of this writing, the past four games have yielded just three runs for The Ballpark guys, and the last eight losses have netted less than three runs per outing.
These are numbers from the miserable past, when Texas had some really good pitchers taking residence on the Arlington mounds, but usually ended up carting them north to try to get at least a handful of hitters.
Some of you longer-toothed fans (or young baseball historians) may remember Ranger hurlers like Burt Blyleven, who went on to a wondrous career, or maybe the (alleged) spit-balling Gaylord Perry, who won a Cy Young not too long after exiting.
Just how many 1-0 losses did Blyleven have with the Rangers?
Seriously, I know I “doth protest too much,” but I recently was a bit confounded — and to perpetuate my favorite, self-deprecating humor, I am confounded much too often — But anyway, in the mid-innings of a tight ball game, the Rangers had finally gotten runners on first and second and no outs, with Nellie Cruz stepping to the plate. Runs were at a premium ...
And OK, maybe this is a sort of sacrilege, or perhaps it is beneath the dignity of “home run hitters.” But why not have even some of the “big guys” lay down a bunt, Coach? (especially when you are starving for offense).
So, instead of the prospect of one out and runners at second and third, (and the latter really happened) your batter hits into a double play. Yeah, I know the lineup is in a shambles right now, but desperate times...
Maybe I’m under-estimating the difficulty of a big-leaguer laying down a bunt, or over-estimating the eye-to-hand coordination of the big banger. Well, at least he can catch fly balls ... DOH! Sorry, St. Louis still hurts.