G161: Quiet offense holds Rangers back in 3-1 loss

It’s a new day, and a new game, with a veteran on the mound for Texas.  But even as Harrison performed admirably, it wasn’t meant to be.  In our previous encounters with Travis Blackley this year, the Rangers went 1-2 with a no decision against him, so it seemed like today would be the day we would get the job done.  Unfortunately, our bats felt differently.

In front of just over 30,000 people in Oakland, the Texas offense remained stoic.  Sure, by Texas standards, things have been quieter than normal lately, but today was something especially unsettling.  5 hits, and only 2 of those for extra bases.  Even then, our Rangers usually find a way to get it done, but Blackley’s ability to draw ground-balls was astounding.  Young, Hamilton, and Napoli all grounded in to double plays, effectively ending any chance the Rangers had of creating offensive momentum.  Sure, Blackley issued a couple walks, but he cleaned things up nicely throughout his 6 innings of work.

But even then, given the struggling offense, our pitching staff remained solid, holding Oakland to only 3 runs.  Although Harrison allowed 6 hits, it’s hard to push any blame his way on a night when our offense was silent.  Stats typically don’t matter, but his ERA was decent, and 5 strikeouts speak for themselves.  It wasn’t a dominant outing, but he got the job done in many ways.

After this game, with some emotion and frustration, here’s what I wrote:

Winning 1 out of 3 seemed to be a sure thing. Winning 1 out of 2 appeared entirely possible. But now we’re forced to win 1 out of 1, and I’m downright worried.

And a short while later, as the frustration and disappointment began to set in, and the gravity of the situation began to ferment, that the first place Rangers were no longer alone in their ranking, I wrote this:

I know it shouldn’t matter, but they play on a football field for goodness sake. Their attendance was less than half of ours for the year. We probably had more sellouts than they had home wins. And yet, here we stand, on the verge of losing a title 3 years in the making.

Maybe we take baseball to seriously.  Maybe we are too invested in “our” teams’ wins and losses.  Maybe that’s why days like today are so hard to swallow.  Surely we aren’t the Red Sox from last year, right?  Here’s to just hoping tomorrow doesn’t make me feel like this all over again.