The Texas Rangers went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position in Sunday's 7-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, completing a four-game sweep at the hands of the AL East's last-place team. That performance upped the Rangers' average in that category over the last four games. That speaks volumes.
After a game like that, something has to be done to spark a slumping team, and Rangers manager Ron Washington called the never-good closed-door team meeting following Sunday's loss.
"I thought that they needed to hear from the manager," Washington said in his postgame press conference. "That was it...
"I spoke to them," Washington said. "And the message is nobody's business in this room, and I don't mean to be disrespectful."
The Rangers are in the midst of a six-game losing streak — their first of that length since April 2010, and we all know where the Rangers ended up that season. But this skid has come at home, which is a bit more of a concern, and it has an adverse effect on pitchers as well, who work under much more pressure when they know their offense doesn't have their back.
One of the players, of many, in a slump is Elvis Andrus, who hit leadoff for much of the time when Ian Kinsler was on the disabled list, is hitting just .184 over his last 18 games with 14 strikeouts and has a season average of just .245.
Andrus said hearing the private message from Washington will hopefully spark his team.
It was good "Especially from him," Andrus told ESPN Dallas. "He always has our back, and we've always got his, too. It's meant for us to go out there and start executing."
With first-place Oakland coming to town for a four-game set to close out the Rangers' longest homestand of the year, Washington didn't pull any punches when discussing what his team has to do to get through the rough waters of their six-game skid.
"You go out and keep playing," Washington said. "That team up in there has proven how mentally tough they are. Yes, we've lost six in a row. We're not the first team to lose six in a row, and we probably won't be the last in the rest of the history of baseball to lose six in a row. But we're challenged. And I feel like mentally we're tough enough to make it through the challenge."