There's a laundry list of reasons for the Texas Rangers' collapse this year, and it wasn't just a product of the season's final week — it was a long time coming. As part of a series, we'll take a look at some of those issues.
Today, we'll look at the Rangers' running game. When the Rangers burst on to the scene in 2010, a lot was made of the team's aggressiveness in all phases, particularly on the bases. In 2011, statistically speaking, they were even more aggressive. For whatever reason, the running numbers fell off dramatically in 2012.
In 2010, the Rangers stole 123 bases as a team, led by Elvis Andrus' 32 with none other Nelson Cruz coming in second on the team that year with 17. They were caught 48 times.
In 2011, Andrus led once again with 37 steals, while Kinsler had another 30-30 season with 30 steals. Craig Gentry had 18 and wasn't caught once. The team was caught 45 times.
This season, the Rangers' stolen bases numbers fell off a ledge, stealing just 91 bases but being caught 44 times, including an inordinate amount of pickoffs, most notably of Andrus and Kinsler, who tied for the team lead with 21 steals apiece.
This led to an overall lack of ability on the bases, whether it be steals or manufacturing runs, as the team relied too heavily upon the long ball, bringing back memories of those fun-to-watch, yet unsuccessful 90s and early 2000s teams.