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The Nadir (we hope)

Have the 2023 Texas Rangers hit the bottom yet?

Houston Astros v Texas Rangers Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

Might this be the nadir for the 2023 Texas Rangers? The lowest point in their fortunes, where they have hit the bottom?

We have to hope so. After spending most of 2023 in first place in the American League West, with a comfortable margin in the playoff race for a Wild Card spot, Texas today finds itself two games out in the West, and a half-game out of the final Wild Card berth.

If the season ended today, the Rangers would not be a playoff team.

After everything that has happened this season, at this point, to fall short of the playoffs would be a massive disappointment.

The last two games have been, in a word, embarrassing. A 13-6 loss on Monday, with Austin Hedges being asked to pitch the ninth. And then an awful, ugly 14-1 defeat yesterday. Nathan Eovaldi, activated from the injured list, in the hopes that he could save the pitching staff, got rocked, giving up four runs, including a pair of homers, while recording just four outs.

Eovaldi, having missed almost two months, came back with no rehab assignment, on a pitch limit. It could be seen as an act of desperation. But when it comes to the pitching staff, the Rangers are, well, desperate right now.

After Dane Dunning got knocked around for nine — NINE — runs in relief of Eovaldi, we saw the other sign of the Rangers’ pitching desperation. Ian Kennedy, released in May, unremarkable in Round Rock the past couple of months, newly added to the roster in the hopes that he could help salve the open wound which is the Ranger bullpen, entered the game in the seventh inning.

And gave up a home run to the first batter he faced.

Austin Hedges pitched the ninth inning, again. The Rangers threw in the towel in the top of the fourth when, down 9-0, Corey Seager was lifted.

Facing the Houston Astros, a team the Rangers have been fighting all season for the division title and a playoff spot, Texas has been inept the past two games.

One can only hope that this is it, the bottom, and it doesn’t get any worse from here. This is a better team than what we’ve seen of late. After tonight’s game against Houston, there’s an off day, three at home against the A’s, and then a big seven game road trip that starts with four games against Toronto — the team currently half-game ahead of Texas for the final Wild Card spot.

There’s seven games remaining against the Seattle Mariners, who the Rangers are also battling against for a playoff spot.

All hope is not lost.

It just feels that way right now.