Rangers sweep Astros… Again!

Cole Hamels is now 5-0 on the season and will take on the Pirates this Friday. Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs
Cole Hamels is now 5-0 on the season and will take on the Pirates this Friday.
Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs

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By Alex Al-Kazzaz

After getting swept by the Oakland Athletics, the Texas Rangers needed to climb back into the series-win column. The Rangers made their way back to the Lone Star State to take on their in-state rivals Houston Astros. The Rangers found a way to not only win the series, but they were able to sweep the Astros for the second time this season. The Rangers are now 6-0 against Houston with a 25-19 overall record, but they’re still 1.5 games behind Seattle for first place in the A.L. West.

How the Rangers did it…
Offense: The Rangers registered a total of 24 hits, scored 13 runs, and were struck out 30 times. I say that’s a respectable performance. Obviously, it’s never a positive thing when the team strikeouts more than registered hits, but Games 1 and 2 involved both Houston and Texas pitching performing well on the mound. The Rangers went 24-for-100 in this series and that’s a very low hit percentage. Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre went a combined 5-for-23, which means they’re still looking for their groove, and we can only hope they find it very soon. It’s getting close to that time of the season to where we can’t say, “it’s still too early in the season,” anymore.

Pitching Rotation: Pitching was phenomenal. Colby Lewis, Cole Hamels, and Cesar Ramos allowed a combined total of 11 hits, surrendered just three runs, and struck out 16 hitters. Hamels and Lewis have a combined 8-0 record and Cesar Ramos’ performance in Game 2 earned him his first win this season.

Bullpen: Well, I can definitely say that the bullpen performed significantly better than they did in the Oakland series. The bullpen allowed just three hits, surrendered one run, and struck out 10 batters. Sam Dyson who took over as closer last week and has been doing a fantastic job in sealing wins for the Rangers. If Dyson can continue his dominance, he’ll remain the closer for the rest of the season. I am not completely sold on the bullpen as they still have much to prove.

Shin-Soo Choo returned to the lineup this series after being on the disabled list with a calf injury, but soon left due to a hamstring strain, which caused him to sit out the rest of the series. There hasn’t been any diagnosis on it yet, but Choo really needs to get and stay healthy. He’s being paid way too much to be on the disabled list for an extended period of time.

The Rangers are now headed back home to Arlington for a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. It’s never an easy series when the Angels are in town. Derek Holland pitches for Texas in Game 1. The Rangers need to stay on the series-win column. Later this week, the Rangers host the Pirates of Pittsburgh.

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
5/23   vs. Angels     7:05 pm
5/24   vs. Angels     7:05 pm
5/25   vs. Angels     1:05 pm
5/27   vs. Pirates     7:05 pm
5/28   vs. Pirates     6:15 pm
5/29   vs. Pirates     2:05 pm