SEATTLE - MAY 04: Shortstop Elvis Andrus #1 of the Texas Rangers tracks a ground ball against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on May 4, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Elvis Andrus;
The Texas Rangers were built by Ron Washington around the idea of playing great defense and moving more toward a small ball theme with solid pitching.
Last year, all of that came together.
This year, the Rangers defense has been pretty erratic, to say the least.
The Rangers are second in all of Major League Baseball with 73 errors through the all-star break, four behind the lowly Chicago Cubs.
Depending on who you ask, some of that can be chalked up to the range of the Rangers (no pun intended) defense, specifically in the middle infield. The idea is that Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus have such great range, they get to balls many would not even touch, and flub them.
Either way, it's too many errors for a championship team to have. Just to put things in perspective, the Rangers had 105 all of last season, which was about the middle of the league, but they're on pace for way more than that this year.
But over this seven-game win streak the Rangers have put together going into the break, the defense has played great. And it's a big reason for the win streak. They've committed just two errors over that stretch and one of those was a catcher's inteference on Sunday.
So yeah, the fact is, the Rangers are highly likely to finish with more errors than they had last year, which is fine. But they need to cut down in the second half, and based on this last week, they just might do it.