Friday, July 6, 2012
Ron Washington talks inconsistent offense
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said Friday that he's never seen his offense this inconsistent.
"Some guys just aren't at their best," Washington said. "That's all it is. If we knew what it was, we'd fix it. But you have to stay the course. These guys have track records."
The overall offensive numbers are actually better than what they were this time last year, in terms of batting average and runs scored. But the club raised the bar for the lineup with a stellar first six weeks of the season.
At one point in mid-May, the Rangers were hitting nearly .300 as a team, averaging close to six runs and hitting 1.5 homers per game. But that pace was impossible to keep up and the club has seen fits where it's either put up a ton of runs or barely any at all. Since that May midpoint, the club is batting .271 (more than 20 points down from early in the season), averaging 4.8 runs (a run less) and just one homer per game.
"Expectations have been raised so high," Washington said. "We're not running from that. It's 162 games and we won't panic at 80-something."
Washington said the biggest inconsistency is getting runners in from third base with less than two outs. That's when the club needs a ground ball to the right side or a fly ball and can't execute it. Washington acknowledged that hitters that are usually stroking the ball this time of year aren't doing so yet. He mentioned Michael Young, Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli. Those are the Nos. 5, 6 and 7 hitters in the lineup. But Washington isn't making any changes.
"Some guys are struggling, bottom line," Washington said. "If they are struggling, what does moving them to fifth do? No. I'm penciling them in tonight and I'm going to ride it. Then I'll pencil them in tomorrow night and I'll ride it."