We’re already cringing at the Rangers’ depleted staff. But if the offensive power outage continues at this pace, things are going to get ugly early in Arlington.
It’s one thing to lose top two pitchers Yu Darvish and Derek Holland, but it’s another to have your bats healthy and … unproductive.
Four of the Rangers’ first five batters got hits last night against Angels’ starter Matt Shoemaker as they jumped to a 3-0 lead. And then, poof. Gone. In a 6-3 loss, the offense wilted and continued its anemic start to 2015.
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In eight games they’ve scored 27 runs, but 10 of those came in one game against the A’s. They’ve been shut out twice and of the teams that have played eight games, only the Giants have plated fewer runs.
The culprit is unique: A lack of homers. For a franchise that once routinely led the majors in long balls behind the booming bats of Rafael Palmeiro and Juan Gonzalez and more recently with Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton, Texas suddenly is small-ball. Or else.
The Rangers have failed to homer in any of their four home games, the longest such streak to start a season since 1994. They have four homers this season, or one less than the Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez.
And remember how Prince Fielder was going to bomb the short porch in right field? Not that he won’t eventually. But his lack of pop is getting close to being alarming. After hitting just three homers in 150 at-bats in last season’s injury-plagued campaign, he’s showing no signs of regaining the stroke that produced homer totals of 50, 46 and 38 with the Brewers.
In spring training Fielder hit one homer in 44 at-bats. In the regular season he’s yet to hit one in 33 more plate appearances.
We know the Rangers are struggle to pitch. But if they can’t hit, ouch.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.