The Texas Rangers offense got off to a great start to their road trip to Seattle over the weekend when they banged out 10 hits against Mariners ace and former Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez in a win on Thursday.
But since then, the Rangers bats went into hibernation in the cool Seattle air. The Rangers combined to score seven runs over the final three games of the four-game set in Seattle and have seen a lot of players who they expected to be big at the plate get off to slow starts to the season.
The Rangers not only were cold at the plate, but they were cold in some key situations, especially in Sunday's 4-3 loss to Seattle when they left tying runs stranded on base numerous times, including once when Craig Gentry and Elvis Andrus both struck out with the tying run on base late in the game.
Here's some numbers to digest from some key Rangers hitters: Adrian Beltre, a notoriously slow starter, is hitting .224 through 13 games this season. Elvis Andrus is hitting .220. David Murphy, in his big chance as an everyday player, is hitting .160. The centerfield platoon of Craig Gentry and Leonys Martin is hitting .211 and .174, respectively. Mitch Moreland, who was set for a big breakout year, is hitting .190.
Yuck. That's a recipe for offensive failure right there.
Ron Washington chalked his team's lack of success at the plate over the weekend to the cold weather in Seattle and the Mariners' good pitching. But the Rangers hit the Mariners' best pitcher before going cold the rest of the series.
And here's the scary thing, the Rangers are set to go to Chicago to play the Cubs under NL rules Tuesday through Thursday. The temperatures wlll be in the 40s and 50s and the Rangers' best hitter so far, Lance Berkman, probably won't be in the lineup as the team will have to play without the designated hitter.
The Rangers need to break out of this offensive funk, and this week in Chicago might not be the time or place it happens.