Rangers Miss Another Chance

Texas lost to Los Angeles 5-2 on Monday, despite several opportunities.

Texas missed yet another opportunity on Monday night.

Sadly, it seems that this has become an earmark of Texas Rangers baseball in 2009.

Whether within the context of an inning, a game or a month, chances seem to be slipping by the Rangers with a frustrating frequency.

This month, it has been a series with the Padres in which they dropped two of three while nursing a small and crucial lead over the Rangers. More recently, in Monday night’s 5-2 loss to the Angels, Texas had several golden opportunities to either grab or extend on a lead.

The fifth inning comes to mind; Texas had runners at first and second with no outs, with a 2-1 lead, only to leave both stranded.

Either David Murphy or Marlon Byrd's at-bats exemplify the missed hitting chances, although no one can be so sure which was worse; Murphy popped up to shallow right on the first pitch. Byrd, after a home run and a double in his first two at bats, grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Vicente Padilla was okay in the loss—no better, no worse.

In any case, the Rangers' offense simply must get going for the team to stand any chance in 2009.

As good as the pitching has been—and it has been better than anyone, myself included, thought it would be—it is not good enough for the Rangers to traverse such an offensive nadir as the one they are dealing with now.

But even if the offense slugs a prodigious amount of home runs (setting off enough fireworks to make Arlington's air smell like sulfur and patriotism permanently), it won’t matter.

What’s missing now is timing -- a feeling of urgency.

Texas had it through May. If they want any chance of a playoff berth, they’d be a lot better off if they find it before July.

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