The Texas Rangers looked like a rejuvenated team as the trading deadline came and went. However, the club lost again on Sunday, 6-3 when they were swept out of Oakland and lost their sixth straight game.
The Rangers now drop to 39-73 and have a 0.348 win rate in 112 games this season. The last time Texas had a full season under .400, with the exception of the 2020 60 game season, was 1985 when they finished 62-99, which is a percentage of .385. The ’85 Rangers were 42-70 through 112 games.
With their club flirting with the worst season since the club moved to Arlington in 1972, they need answers about who can be a part of their future. For the first few months of the season, Isiah Kiner-Falefa sure looked like someone who could be a starter on a championship team. He was consistently at the top of the league table in bWAR and in his first full season at shortstop delivered an excellent defense throughout the season.
In his first 66 games in 2021, Kiner-Falefa owned a respectable .745 OPS. But for the next 40 games, he slashed .184 / .218 / .228 / .446 with a home run and nine RBI.
But in the last five games, Kiner-Falefa has done a lot better “surrendering to the result,” as manager Chris Woodward likes to put it. He went 8v22 with only two strikeouts. On Sunday he had two of the team’s four hits – a triple and his first home run since June 19.
“It’s vital for any player, but especially younger players,” said Woodward of the assignment. “They can get into what will happen if they don’t have a good game or the rest of the year. Then it starts snowing in their heads instead of focusing on the task at hand.
“[Kiner-Falefa] has remained present. His turns look a lot better. He said to me the other day, ‘I’m really trying to give up Woody. I try very hard. ‘ You can tell he’s really going out of his way to do that and just finish strong. ”
Adolis García has had a much bigger impact on the record this season and rightly earned a spot on the American League All-Star team last month. But after having an OPS north of .900 for the first two months of the season, the league adapted to García. He’s made some adjustments to the game of cat and mouse, but for the last month or so he’s struggled like no other this season.
But in the last few games there have been signs of life in García’s racket. He hit a 450-foot bomb and had 3 RBIs in Saturday’s game, followed by a double and a walk on Sunday.
“We need him,” said Woodward. “We need him to move up, have quality on the racket and set the tone for the rest of the guys. I know Kiner has [also] Good job at the top in the last three or four games. We need these guys to keep this up. ”
The Rangers have Monday off, then play a three-game series in Seattle before returning home on Friday to face Oakland again.
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