Are the Texas Rangers Set Up for Another September Collapse?

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IISeptember 12, 2013

Sep 10, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin (right) is congratulated by right fielder Alex Rios (51) after scoring against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Pirates won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Not again. That's what Texas Rangers fans are saying again this year, as the team is struggling in September the same way they did last year.

The Rangers have lost eight of their last 10 games, are 3.5 games behind the Athletics in the AL West. They also are 3.5 games from being outside the two wild-cards.

Taking into account last year and the struggles through September once again, are the Rangers set up for another September collapse?


A Look at History

There's an old saying that if you don't learn from history, you're bound to repeat it. For the Rangers, that theory is playing out once again.

Last year, the Rangers actually started September out well, going 7-4 in their first 11 games. They were beating the teams they should have (Indians, Angels, Royals), but then things changed.

They split with the Angels, lost two of three with the Mariners, split with Oakland, and then proceeded to lose five of their last six.

It was a collapse not many saw coming, especially considering the Rangers had Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre all hitting bombs; and Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison pitching really well.

But something fell apart and the Rangers were never able to recover. They lost on the final day of the regular season to the A's, forcing them into the wild-card, where they lost to the Orioles.

Those are two games Rangers fans want to forget about.


Same Story, Different Year

Instead of the Rangers collapsing the last few weeks of the season, they decided to get an early start on it, having lost nine of their last 12.

Among those the Rangers have lost to are the Twins (63-82), A's (85-61), Angels (68-76) and Pirates (84-61).

Now, I can understand dropping games to the A's and Pirates, because both are good teams. But how do you lose series against the Twins and Angels? Neither has great pitching, but you can only manage to put up three runs per game in those six games? There's something wrong with your offense when that's happening.

Of course, some people will point to Cruz being suspended for his role in the Biogenesis scandal, but are we absolutely sure some of his numbers weren't due to performance-enhancing drugs? That question will remain until he proves he can produce in the same way he did while using PEDs.

Adding Alex Rios in a trade with the White Sox was a good move for the Rangers, but what has it really done? Since he joined the Rangers, the team is only 15-14 and he's only hit four home runs. That's not exactly replacing the power you lost when Cruz was suspended.

Another big issue is that Jurickson Profar is not playing like the former No. 1 prospect in all of baseball. In fact, he's hitting .236 with five home runs and 25 RBI. He's batting .233 in September (in 30 at-bats) and wasn't much better in August, either, batting .226.


The Rest of the Way

Although they do still have a 3.5-game cushion for the playoffs, the Rangers have to stop fooling around, thinking they can back their way into the playoffs. Cleveland, New York, Baltimore, Kansas City and Tampa Bay are all looking to push Texas down in the standings.

As far as the last two-and-a-half weeks of the regular season, the Rangers don't have the easiest of schedules.

Oakland comes to town before Texas hits the road to play Tampa Bay and Kansas City. The Rangers end the year at home against Houston and the Angels.

If last weekend's series against the Angels didn't tell you, they're not going to roll over and let the Rangers win those games easily. Texas is going to have to fight for those wins.

And the way things are going, I don't see much fight in them.



I've said it once before in a story, but I'll go ahead and say it again—the Rangers aren't going to make the playoffs.

There are just too many mistakes happening right now, and I don't see the Rangers correcting it.

Some people may not like it, but history has a tendency to repeat itself. And the 2013 Texas Rangers are no different.


Agree with what I have to say or think I'm totally full of it? Comment below of hit me up on Twitter @chris_stephens6.


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