How not to run a gauntlet

At the beginning of the month of June, the Rangers were soaring above the then slumping LA Angels. The Rangers had come off of a monster month of May and they were not only in first place in the AL West, but they were battling for the best record in the American League. The pitching and defense were awesome and the hitting was adequate, although not up to the usual Rangers production.

Why did they do so well in the month of May? Outside of a sweep by the Tigers and 2-out-of-3 by the Yankees, the Rangers were playing, at the time, teams that were average to below average. And those two team who took it to us (Tigers and Yankees) are division contenders at this point.

But then the Good Guys got to the month of June. An entire month of teams above .500, including the Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays, Dodgers and Giants. The only palooka on the list was the Astros, and those 2 wins and one loss were sloppy, embarrassing games that were badly managed in the 9th inning and beyond.

It is said that any given team can beat any other team on any given day. For the Rangers in June, this is particularly true. It seems our Rangers can beat average to below average teams without much difficulty (month of May) and struggle against division contenders (month of June). It also appears that this team folds under the weight of a particularly good pitcher or, as mentioned above, faces a pitcher who's on for that game (this was particularly true with Scherzer last night).

We've been reminded by the local media that "contending year" was supposed to be 2010. Seeing what we've seen in the past two months, this may be pretty evident. If this team has blossomed early, then we'll know it after the Rangers play the Angels 6 times in 10 days. If not, this season could resemble the roller coasters of near by Six Flags: Good when playing the lapdogs; struggling when playing the big dogs.