Rangers and Angels Split Series

Texas Rangers OF Shin-Soo Choo will be out 4-6 weeks with a calf injury. Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs
Texas Rangers OF Shin-Soo Choo will be out 4-6 weeks with a calf injury which opens the door for Nomar Manzara. Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs

By Alex Al-Kazzaz

The Texas Rangers have wrapped up their series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Rangers went 2-2 in this series, and now are 3-4 for the season. They’re currently sitting in second place in the A.L. West standings. And believe it or not, the Oakland Athletics are in first place and the Rangers won’t be playing against Oakland until mid May.

I expected the Rangers to win this series, but it’s not like they’re sitting at the bottom of the A.L. West, so they’ve begun to take care of business. But now there are some holes to fill.

The offense slightly improved. They finished this series with a total of 31 hits, but were struck out a combined 31 times. They’ve only scored 15 runs in this series, and they’ve got 25 so far this season. As far as homers go, the Rangers have only registered five so far and that needs to be fixed as well. So the offense still has much to improve, but they’re getting there.

Unfortunately, the Rangers have lost two key players. Shin-Soo Choo will be out 4-6 weeks with a calf injury. Robinson Chirinos will be out 10-12 weeks with a broken forearm. Bryan Holaday will take over as the team’s starting catcher.

Nomar Mazara was called up from the minors to fill in for Shin-Soo Choo and he had a great day, finishing 3-for-4, including a home-run on Sunday. I think the Rangers have the perfect player for Choo’s position.

Now let’s review the pitching performance…

Cole Hamels is 2-0, and he’s allowed only eight hits and has struck out 12 batters in two games started. A.J. Griffin stepped on the mound for the first time in more than two years, and finished allowing six hits, surrendering three runs, and struck out only one batter, but the best part is that he earned a victory. When Derek Holland took the mound on Thursday, everyone was worried that he would get injured, but that didn’t happen. Instead, he allowed four hits, surrendered three runs, and struck out five batters, but he ended up getting a no decision on his first start. Martin Perez took the mound for Sunday’s game, and he had a bit of tough afternoon as he allowed seven hits, surrendered three runs, and registered no strike-outs.

The bullpen played very solid in this series. In Game 1, the bullpen managed to keep the game tied until the bottom on the ninth when Sam Dyson allowed the Angels’ offense to load up the bases and score the game-winning run. In the next two games, the starting pitchers and bullpen shutdown the Angels and the offense did their job. In Game 4, the bullpen did a good job of not allowing the Angels to score more runs, but the offense couldn’t return the favor.

In this series, the bullpen allowed only nine hits and struck out eight batters, which is not too bad, but could be a lot better. So that’s another hole to fill. But it’s still very early in the season.

The Rangers are now on their way to Seattle for a three-game series against the Mariners. The Mariners have lost three straight games. The Mariners took two of three to win the season opening series last week.

Colby Lewis will be on the mound Monday night for the Rangers. A three-game sweep would be great for the Rangers, as they will be taking on the Baltimore Orioles for a four-game series at home after their trip to Seattle.

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
4/11   @Mariners    9:10 pm
4/12   @Mariners    9:10 pm
4/13   @Mariners    2:40 pm
4/14   vs Orioles      7:05 pm
4/15   vs Orioles      7:05 pm
4/16   vs Orioles      7:05 pm
4/17   vs Orioles      2:05 pm