As the we draw into the final week of the season , the Texas Rangers are looking into the abyss of missing out on the playoffs, as their stellar play in the month of August has cooled off significantly since the start of the September. In the month of August, the Rangers had a record of 20-7 with a win percentage of .741. One would think that this play would continue into this month, but that has not been the case. This month, the Rangers have a record of 4-14 with a win percentage of .222, by far the worst record in the month of September by a club in the hunt for the wild card. Once they were in first place in the American League West, and then in the lead of the American League Wild Card, but now the Rangers are in a fight.
What is interesting though, is that the club in oddly enough in a similar position that they were last season as well, with September being a hurdle of a month. In 2012, the Rangers finished the month of September with a record 2 games above .500 at 15-13. While yes, that is a good record, they did however lose the division on the last day of the season, to the Oakland Athletics and had to settle for the wild card. What is actually really interesting though about last season and this season, is the month of July for Texas, which could be a telling sign of the teams performance. In the month of July in 2012, the Rangers finished the month, with a record of 9-14 and were outscored by a difference of 29 runs. In 2013, Texas finished July with a record of 11-15 and were outscored by a difference of 20 runs. What is also interesting, is that the club in 2012, as the same this year, was able to mask the struggles of July with an excellent August, but a mediocre September in 2012. Unfortunately, 2013 has been a different story in September, but July and August were similar to last season.
But what does this mean for the future?
Well, the most imminent answer on the future, is that if the Rangers continue on their current pace, they will miss out on the playoffs, especially considering the fact that the Rays and Indians, have both maintaining decent to near excellent levels of play so far this month. Especially Cleveland, who after a mediocre August, has turned it up again this month.
For the future as in after the season is over, the answer could be the Rangers seeking a managerial change, as Ron Washingston’s managerial style may finally be called into question by the organization. Washington, is certainly an interesting manager to say the least, and you can not take away the fact that he led the club to back-to-back American League pennants. Still though, he wasn’t able to finish the job in either 2010 or and especially 2011, where the Rangers should have taken that series from the Cardinals, and now with last season and this season, it is becoming evident that the Rangers may need to make this change for a manager who has the tactics to succeed in the later months of the season and in the postseason.
It may be though, that not Ron Washington bringing about his replacement, but the play of the team right now. This Rangers team has the talent to be a first place ball club, but with the exception of Adrian Beltre, have not been performing up to par at the plate, and on the mound have been more reliant on the starts of Yu Darvish. The most telling stat, could be that they are twenty-fifth in the league in quality starts by their starters and they are middle of the road in most offensive categories this season. It could still though be Washington, bringing about his end, especially with the way the Rangers outfield has looked and also with handling of Jurickson Profar, but then again it may come down to a wait and see what the organization does with Ron Washington. For now though, the Rangers need to light some kind of fire for the final week, in order to make a final push. The playoffs are still within reach they just have to show some kind of drive to push them over the top. It will for one thing, be an interesting outcome to see what happens.