The march toward 100 losses for the Texas Rangers is plowing ahead, and there appears to be no practical way to keep them from hitting triple-digits.
"I'm not thinking about that," manager Ron Washington said. "I'm thinking us going on a four- or five-game winning streak."
See? No practical way.
Washington and the players know that 100 losses is a possibility, and none of them wants to be a part of a catastrophic season. The Rangers haven't had a 100-loss season since dropping 105 games in 1973, their second season in Arlington. They lost an even 100 in the inaugural 1972 season.
But losing 100 times this season isn't in their heads, at least not yet, and the sole goal remains to show up each day to try to win a game.
The pitching of late has given them a chance, especially the bullpen, but the offense still is lacking from the key hit to get a run home or even the key groundout or flyball. There has been improvement, though.
"Even though the record doesn't show it the past two or three weeks, we have been playing better baseball," third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "There have been close games that we've had a chance to win. If we do a few more little things differently, it could be different and we could finish the season on a strong note."
The Rangers' remaining schedule, though, is going to make avoiding 100 a difficult task.
The Rangers have 36 games remaining and 76 losses. Go ahead and do the math. A 13-23 record, a .361 winning percentage, doesn't seem like an outrageous task, but the combined record of their final opponents will make 13-23 a bear.
The Rangers' final six opponents, entering Thursday, were a combined 407-350. That's a .538 winning percentage and a combined 57 games above .500. Five of the teams are legitimate postseason contenders.
The race to 100 losses is on, a race no one in a Rangers uniform wants to win.
"It's something that you don't want to be a part of, but at this time I don't think we have time to think about those things," right fielder Alex Rios said. "We've got to put good things together and try to win games."
A look at what the Rangers are facing:
70-56, 1st place AL Central
Games remaining: 6 (Friday-Sunday, Sept. 1-3)
Comment: The Rangers' spring roommates are fight back the Tigers.
68-58, tied for 2nd AL wild card
Games remaining: 7 (Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 4-7)
Comment: A legit playoff possibility, the Mariners can't sink vs. the Rangers.
54-73, 4th place AL West
Games remaining: 7 (Thursday-Aug. 31, Sept. 22-24)
Comment: Not many teams have been as tough on the Rangers as the Astros.
75-50, 1st place AL West
Games remaining: 6 (Sept. 9-11, Sept. 19-21)
Comment: Probably still kicking themselves after Sunday's loss at the Globe.
66-61, 1 1/2 games behind second NL wild card
Games remaining: 3 (Sept. 12-14)
Comment: Will be expecting a boost as they chase Washington.
74-52, AL wild-card leader
Games remaining: 7 (Sept. 16-18, Sept. 25-28)
Comment: Those final four games of the season could decide the AL West champ.
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