Since coming to the Texas Rangers on July 31 from the horrible Chicago Cubs, Ryan Dempster has shown up against bad teams and failed miserably, for the most part, against good ones.
That trend needs to change for the postseason, where there won't be any bad teams, but in the very short term, it needs to change right now as he takes the hill today in the winner-take-all game for the AL West crown against the Oakland Athletics.
Today will mark Dempster's 12th start in a Rangers uniform, and his 11 previous he's 7-3, with those three losses coming to the Angels (twice) and the Yankees. His wins? Those have come against teams like the Twins, Indians (twice), Mariners, Royals and Red Sox. His one win this year against a winning club came on Aug. 20 when he pitched a gem against the Baltimore Orioles, going eight innings and allowing one run.
That's the Dempster the Rangers need today, as he'll take the field in Oakland to face the Athletics for the first time in his career. One thing you can count on with Dempster, much like Colby Lewis, is that he'll give you his best every time out. Today, you just have to hope his best is enough.