OAKLAND, Calif. — The Texas Rangers are in a rut of hitting into double plays.
They hit into two more in Wednesday night’s 2-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics. They’ve now hit into 12 double plays in their past eight games, six of them losses.
Manager Ron Washington responded to this trend with little more than a shrug of the shoulders.
“It’s just the pitcher executing the pitch,” Washington said. “That’s the root cause. There’s not much else you can say. When a pitcher executes a pitch in that situation, that’s what you get.”
The most galling double play on Wednesday was Mitch Moreland's with the bases loaded and one out in the second. Bartolo Colon threw a fastball on the inside part of the plate and Moreland fisted it to second base.
“There’s no rhyme or reason for hitting into double plays other than the pitcher executing his pitch,” Washington said.
Washington may be onto something in thinking that the run of double plays is just an unfortunate coincidence rather than a systemic problem. A look at the stats reveals that the Rangers are actually one of the best teams in baseball at avoiding double plays. Coming into Wednesday’s game, they hit into 42 double plays in 401 opportunities, the lowest rate in the American League.