Texas Rangers: Soar, Then Stoop

Got this "friend" named Newy Scruggs. He has his theory that the Texas Rangers "play well against the big boys."

Hogwash I'd tell him, until the Rangers took two of three against the Angels last weekend. Then I watch Texas last night and - yep - I'm starting to embrace all sides of Newy's thesis. Including the flip-side which mandates that while the Rangers play up to their competition, they also stoop down to it.

Evidence: Indians 5, Rangers 0.

The Rangers are 9-3 against Anaheim and on Sunday boxed around ace John Lackey for seven runs. Texas is 3-0 against Tampa Bay and 5-1 against the Boston Red Sox, two of the teams it's fighting in the wild card race.

That's 17-4 against three of the top four teams in the AL.

But then there's this: The Rangers are 1-2 against the Padres, only 6-6 against the Oakland A's and last night were shut out by Aaron Laffey and a team that climbed to 14 games under .500. Those teams are a combined 45 under .500.

Maybe Newy's right. Maybe the Rangers somehow "get up" for the elite teams. But if they fall just short of their playoff appearance since 1999, they'll be flummoxed at why they "got down" in shutout losses to the Padres' Chad Gaudin, the A's Gio Gonzalez and the Indians' Laffey.

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