The Rangers’ rotation is responsible for the epic second-half collapse

The Rangers beat the Oakland A’s on Sunday, but it came without any help from their starting rotation. John Gray was almost useless, lasting only 2 2/3 innings before being pulled midway through the disastrous third inning.

Fortunately for him, the bats picked him up against Oakland’s awful pitching staff and rallied for a 9-4 win. However, Gray’s poor performance continued a troubling trend for Texas, which explains the team’s collapse in the standings over the past four weeks.

With Gray’s poor outing on Sunday, the Rangers have gone 22 games since the last time one of the team’s pitchers earned a win. It was August 15, when newcomer Jordan Montgomery earned a title shot against the Angels.

Since then, the Texas season has gone south quickly. The Rangers were just 6-16 during that stretch, falling from first to third in the AL West. They now find themselves fighting for a Wild Card spot after leading their division for most of the summer.

The string of futility is difficult to explain, especially since the spin looks like a force on paper. With Montgomery and Max Scherzer arriving at the trade deadline and Nate Eovaldi returning from the IL, the Texans’ rotation is the strongest it has been all season. Instead, it completely collapsed.

Chalk it up to wear on the shooters over the course of a long season if you want, especially in the heat of summer. You can also blame the tough schedule, as five of our last seven series have come against teams with a winning record (we had four days off during that stretch, so we can’t really complain). They also didn’t get much support in the run as our bats got cold, forcing them to throw more pitches in high-leverage situations.

Either way, we need better results from the rotation if we want to reach the playoffs, let alone go far in them. The bullpen has become fatigued with all of their subpar outings, and that will soon become an issue as well.

We have a tough road trip ahead of us with four games in Toronto and three in Cleveland. The Blue Jays series could make or break the season, as they are our direct competitor in the Wild Card race. We hope our starting pitchers are up to the challenge.

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