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Kick in the stomach Wednesday

You know, whenever I think I've reached a low point in being a Rangers fan, something like yesterday happens.

A winnable game, featuring a strong starting performance by Rick Bauer, of all people, and a couple of Hank Blalock homers, goes down the drain in the 9th inning.

It is bad enough that the team dropped to 2-7 with a loss to Anaheim. But Ian Kinsler dislocated his thumb, and is probably going on the disabled list.

Big picture, in terms of performance this season, replacing Kinsler with D'Angelo Jimenez probably won't make a huge difference in wins and losses. Jimenez isn't that big of a downgrade, and it isn't as if the Rangers lost, say, Michael Young, for whom there is no legitimate in-house replacement candidate.

And I'm going to spare everyone the comparison to Gerald Laird's dislocated thumb in 2004, and the subsequent fallout...I don't think that Jimenez or Mark DeRosa will end up being the starting 2B over the next three years instead of Kinsler due to a 6 week hot streak while Kinsler is out.

But in terms of development, in terms of having something to be enthused about this year with this team, in terms of overall excitement, the Kinsler injury is a huge blow. This is almost reminiscent of 2002, when a season that began with excitement and expectations started off with just about anything that could go wrong, going wrong.

I'm not writing off this team, of course. Their problem thusfar has been simple...the team isn't hitting. The team has a .256/.308/.396 line, good for a .704. That's terrible, and while folks are going to whine about how the Rangers can't "manufacture" runs, that they can't score if they aren't hitting home runs, the bottom line is, with a team OBP of .308, you aren't going to score enough to win many games anyway, manufacturing runs or not.

The bullpen has pitched well. Save for R.A. Dickey, the rotation hasn't been terrible, posting a 5.00 ERA if you subtract Dickey's gascan outing. They just aren't getting any run support.

Anyway...I don't think this is an awful, 90-95 loss team. And even if it was, that probably wouldn't be enough to get Buck Showalter fired, which would be the only thing remotely resembling a silver lining in such a scenario.

I think this is still a little more than a .500 team.

But this awful start is making me have some doubts.