HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 10: Alex Rios #51 of the Texas Rangers before a baseball game against the Houston Astros on August 10, 2013 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Eric Christian Smith/Getty Images)
The Texas Rangers hit the road for a pivotal nine-game road trip a couple of weeks ago, and back then it looked as if it would be a telling trip for the short-term future of the club.
There were stops in Seattle, Oakland and Anaheim — the three teams ahead of the Rangers in the AL West, which has become the best division in baseball this season. The Rangers' horrid injury picture didn't leave them much hope to save their season on the trip, but early on it looked as if they might.
Then, the bottom fell out.
The Rangers won two of three games in Seattle, including an unexpected win over King Felix Hernandez, who pitched great but was outpitched by Nick Tepesch, who tossed the best outing of his big-league career.
They then went to Oakland and put a whippin' on the A's to open the three-game series and gave folks all kinds of hope moving forward with Yu Darvish on the mound and a chance to win the series. That didn't go well, as Darvish starts in Oakland rarely do, and what resulted was a five-game skid that ended with the Rangers being swept by the Angels on Sunday for the first time since 2008.
Now, the Rangers' season is effectively over, if it wasn't already. And most likely, it already was.
The injury situation in Arlington has finally gotten the best of the Rangers, and this recent road trip was ample evidence of it.