June swoon? not even close

**ORIGINAL POST DATE 7/01/12**

Twitter is a wonderful creation. It allows you to sit alone in your living room and feel like you’re watching the game with hundreds of your closest friends. Unfortunately, you often end up seeing things that can be somewhat frustrating as well.
After the first week to ten days of June, the Twitterverse was ablaze with negativity about the Rangers. While it may have been based on a small sample size, there was some justification for the negativity. Texas lost six of their first nine games in the month of June (and eight of eleven if you go back two games into May). While most of us knew we were watching a good team, there was no doubt we were watching some bad baseball. What was worse was that five of those six losses (and seven of eleven when including the last two games of May) were to AL West teams. Losing games to division rivals is always frustrating.

Comparisons in baseball are inevitable, and Texas had recently had one of their best months ever in June, going 21-6 in June of 2010. They lost three more games in the first nine days of June 2012 than they did in all of June 2010. Even when compared to the mediocre June 2011 (14-13), they were on a losing pace.

Fortunately, the Rangers rallied to salvage the month. Texas went 16-3 the rest of the month to tie their second best June record ever (the aforementioned 21-6 in 2010 and 19-9 in 1983).

What is more encouraging than the record in June is how they accomplished it. The losses at the start of the month were achieved through sloppy defense and lack of offense. During the middle of the month, the pitching and defense excelled. Texas allowed three or fewer runs in ten of eleven games from June 10-June 22. They won 10 of 11 during that stretch.

After that, the offense stepped up. The Rangers allowed 49 runs in their next eight games, but scored 51. That led them to a 6-2 record during that time.

Whatever ill wind may have been blowing through Arlington during the early part of June has been pushed out by the winds of victory. Texas is a force to be reckoned with, with a record of 50-29 and a 6.5 game lead in the division.

The book isn’t closed on the on the AL West yet, but Ranger fans should certainly be happy about the chapters that have already been written.

Chris Kautz is a Senior Staff Writer for ShutDowninning. He can be reached at Chris.Kautz@ShutDowninning.com or on Twitter @SDIChris.
Chris Kautz

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