Six Flags Over Texas is located just down the street from Globe Life Field. This is fitting as one of the best terms to describe the Texas Rangers 2020 season would be a roller coaster. There were definitely twists, turns, and even the occasional loop this year. For added effect, there were a lot of screams as well, mostly by the fans. Let’s take a look at the wild ride that the Rangers took this year.
To be fair, this roller coaster ride isn’t entirely the Rangers fault. Outside circumstances, mainly the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, have been in control this year. This resulted in Major League Baseball cutting the season from a traditional 162 games, to an unheard of 60 games with no fans allowed in the ballparks. This was particularly unfortunate for the Rangers as they were set to unveil their brand new climate-controlled ballpark to their fan base in 2020. Another factor was the determination of when Opening Day would be. The regular season started on July 24th. and ended on September 27th. This was after months of back and forth negotiations between the players and Major League Baseball. It really has been a strange year.
Up and Down Pitching
Staying with the roller coaster theme, the Rangers pitching staff could have used some motion sickness bags as they were unable to stay on a level stretch of track in 2020. There were some bright spots, as well as some dark spots. One bright spot was their ace, Lance Lynn. Lynn was very solid all year. His most notable start came on August 9th when he notched his 100th career win in a 7-3 victory over Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels. Overall, Lynn went 6-3 for the Rangers with a 3.32 ERA, 89 strikeouts, and 25 walks. The staff as a whole was not so solid. They had an ERA of 5.02. This led to an overall record of 22-38. Hopefully, they’ll see some straight tracks next year.
Hitting Slumps and Injuries
The aforementioned 22-38 record is also due to a lack of run support. As a team, the Rangers batting average for 2020 was .217. They hit 62 home runs, with only ten of them coming off the bat of their cleanup hitter Joey Gallo. The lineup only managed to drive in 204 runs. To be fair, this is 60 games we’re talking about. It is really unfair to ask players to put up 162-game numbers when they just don’t have that kind of time. The Rangers also sustained their share of injuries this year as well. Some notable names to hit the IL were shortstop Elvis Andrus with a back injury, catcher Jose Trevino with a wrist injury, and starting pitcher Corey Kluber with a shoulder injury, among others. This mostly came from guys trying to do too much in so little time.
Looking Toward 2021
So far, the offseason has been quiet for the Texas Rangers. They are currently sorting out what their 2021 plans will be, and who will be in them. They’re also waiting, like everyone else, to see what next year will look like. Hopefully instead of a roller coaster, it will be more like a lazy river.
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