Texas has always played better after the All-Star break, but after being exposed in each of their last three series (losing two of three to the Tigers, three of four to the Twins, and most recently being swept in three games by the Yankees), how much hope can Rangers fans really have about the rest of this season?
Last year, the Rangers made a great move at the trade deadline in acquiring Cliff Lee. After losing Lee to the Phillies, Texas went out and signed the best offensive player available in Adrian Beltre.
Although Beltre has been productive, the starting pitching has not been productive enough to consistently win a series.
C.J. Wilson is coming off of one of his best games of the season, a 2-3 loss to the Yankees in extras in New York. This loss was not C.J.'s fault, but you have to wonder just how far he can carry this team as he is clearly the ace of the rotation.
Alexi Ogando has been a pleasant surprise in the rotation to replace the injured Tommy Hunter, but pulling him from the eighth inning has left a void in the bullpen, which was one of Texas' biggest strengths in their World Series run last season.
I'm not saying the Rangers won't make the playoffs, it's far too early to tell, but the only way to improve on a team that wins the American League is to win the World Series.
At this point of the season, I would say Texas is no longer looking like the contender many believed they would be to start the season.
Seattle can ride their starting pitching, and the Angels will make a move if they feel they can make a run at the postseason. But Texas needs to find themselves, and soon. If a good arm for the starting rotation is available, they must pursue one.
If not, we can expect this most recent sweep at the hands of the Yankees to be a sign of things to come this October.