By Martin Iheke
The week started off in typical fashion for your Texas Rangers of 2014, but ended on a very good note. We will start with the bad as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim came into town with the best record in baseball last Tuesday and showed why they are the best team. The Angels scored seven runs in the top of the 8th inning to go on and win, 9-3. Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis did a good job of holding the Angels to three runs over seven innings, but the bullpen could not hold them down to give the Rangers a chance late. “I just want to pitch deep in the game and come out with a win for the team,” Lewis said according to mlb.com. “It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is,” as he continued.
Things did not get any better the next night as the Angels came out and pounded the Rangers, 8-1. The only bright spot in this one was Rangers rookie infielder Ryan Rua. He singled home the only run for the Rangers in the bottom of the 7th inning. He also is the only one who has two hits in the last 31 at-bats with runners in scoring position for the team according to mlb.com. That does not say much at all and explains part of the reason why the Rangers are the worst team in baseball. The Angels would complete the three-game sweep with a 7-3 win, last Thursday night, sending the Rangers to a 54-92 record.
You would think at this point, the Rangers would just mail it in these final two and a half weeks of the season. That is not what the team has in mind thanks to a surprising sweep of the visiting-Atlanta Braves this past weekend. The Braves are fighting for one of the last wild card spots in the National League so they had a lot to play for. Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland has been nothing but superb since he came off the disabled list and he continued that against the Braves last Friday in a 2-1 win. He went seven innings giving up a run off eight hits while striking out six. He has a 0.86 ERA in three starts so far. “He just got more intensity,” Rangers manager Tim Bogar said according to mlb.com. “He realized right there that he had to make pitches. That just shows how Derek goes after things every day. We weren’t probably going to score a lot of runs off [Braves starter Alex Wood] and he stepped up and did what he had to do,” as he continued.
The Rangers continued the momentum off a big win over the Braves into the next day with a 3-2 win last Saturday afternoon. They trailed 2-0 going into the bottom of the sixth inning before scoring three unanswered runs. Rangers rookie starting pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla went six innings notching his first career win in the Major Leagues. After a 10-3 win the following day, the Rangers would complete their first sweep at home this season and their first since mid-to-late April when they swept the Oakland Athletics on the road. Speaking of the A’s, that will be the Rangers next opponent when they travel to Oakland to open a three-game series on Tuesday night. After that, they will head to Anaheim to take on the Angels in a three-game series starting on Friday night.
9/16 @A’s 9:05pm
9/17 @A’s 9:05pm
9/18 @A’s 2:35pm
9/19 @Angels 9:05pm
9/20 @Angels 8:05pm
9/21 @Angels 2:35pm