ARLINGTON -- The Rangers reached the 100-loss mark in the first two years of their existence in 1972-73. Those two seasons are by far considered the worst in club history and Texas hadn’t reached the 100-loss threshold again, until Wednesday night.
Just a year shy of the Rangers’ 50th anniversary, they once again reached 100 losses after falling, 7-2, to the Angels at Globe Life Field to even the three-game series.
Texas is mathematically unable to match the worst record in club history -- 57-105 in 1973 -- but it will stand as just the third 100-loss season since its relocation to Arlington.
“Listen, whether it's 99, 100 or 101, whatever it is, it still sucks either way,” manager Chris Woodward said. “There's no sugarcoating it. It's something that this organization hasn't done in a long time, so obviously nobody here is proud of the fact that they're associated with that.
“I like to use things like that as motivation. It's a failure. Like I said, it sucks, but we're not going to quit. I have 100 percent belief in this organization and we will win a championship at some point, hopefully soon. This 100-loss season, we'll never forget.”
The Rangers, who staved off the 100th loss in the series opener, quickly fell behind with the Angels scoring a run in each of the first two innings. Texas struck back in the bottom of the fourth, with four consecutive two-out singles to tie the game at 2.
A four-run sixth inning from the Angels broke the game open as left-hander Taylor Hearn exited his final start of 2021 after 5 1/3 innings. Hearn allowed four runs on six hits to go with one walk and two strikeouts.
Despite the ups and many downs of this season, Woodward has consistently pointed to Hearn as one of the Rangers’ brightest spots.
“He's done a great job this year, there's no question, but I think for all these guys, they have to improve,” Woodward said. “In Taylor's mind, he's done a good job this year, but that's just step one. There’s nobody that’s a finished product in that locker room. Everybody's got to come in a little bit better than they were this year, and keep improving next year, that just never stops.”
Hearn said he didn’t know this was the 100th loss until he was asked about it in the postgame Zoom, adding that all losses feel the same. The only one that really hurts is Opening Day, he said.
It wasn’t totally out of the perception of the rest of the clubhouse, though.
“It went unsaid,” Woodward added about the energy in the clubhouse. “Nothing needs to be said. Every guy we talked to was frustrated by it. But we’ve got to take ownership of it. We have to continue to move forward, we can't feel sorry for ourselves. It was kind of fitting that we played poorly in our 100th loss.”
While 100 losses is never ideal, everybody in the organization knew it was a possibility because of where the Rangers were in the rebuild and the overall youth of the big league roster.
Woodward emphasized multiple times following the game that he wanted to use the 100th loss as motivation for the organization as it continues to work through the rebuilding process. He wants it to fuel their fire going into the offseason and next year.
“You have to use that [as motivation],” Woodward said. “This isn’t the first team that has ever lost 100 games. That’s life. You have to learn from your mistakes, like you have to use that as fuel to fire, you know, to get to where you want to get. Unfortunately, this is a step we didn't have to take. I didn’t set out to lose 100 games, nor did anybody else. We were still going to fight to not do that, but we have to move on and learn from it and not let it happen again.”