Nothing like a winning streak—the major league's longest this year—immediately followed by a losing streak to put things in perspective. Ask the Texas Rangers and they'll tell you the same.
Obviously, while in the throes of a 12-game winning streak, you're team is perfect and has no flaws. But then you blow a five-run lead—losing the game and snapping the streak—and there are more than a few glaring weaknesses that rear their ugly head.
Derek Holland: were his back-to-back complete game shutouts a hint towards sustainable consistency? Or were his gems just fool's gold—thrown against two extremely poor hitting teams in the A's and M's? This raises a question about his fifth spot in the rotation. And Tommy Hunter—who relieved Holland—didn't do much aside from give the Angels the lead for good.
Hunter's struggles are especially alarming since most point to him as Holland's replacement in the rotation should he continue to falter.
In yesterday's loss to the Angels, the Rangers offense looked particularly anemic. Granted, Jered Weaver pitched outstanding—but why couldn't the Rangers do anything with runners on? Especially when they had the bases loaded at one point?
As Ron Washington would say: "That's the way baseball go."
In the grand game of baseball, you could win your first 161 games, lose the last of the season and speculation would run rampant on how to improve the team for the playoffs...that being said, what do the Rangers need to insure not only a playoff birth, but postseason success?
Here's a look at seven players—all difference makers—that could fortify the Rangers for another deep postseason run.