Texas Rangers: Off to a Horrible Start

This isn’t the start to the season that Cole Hamels and the Texas Rangers had envisioned.
Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs
Diamonds are not only a woman’s best friend but also for the boys of summer too… 162 of them to be exact. The Texas Rangers are the diamond of our eye at Big Shucks!

By Wiley Singleton

The beginning of the season has been rough for the Texas Rangers. They have yet to win a series and promising young outfielder Delino DeShields was injured. DeShields will be out for another five weeks or so, and that really shakes up what Manager Jeff Banister wants to do with the lineup.

vs Houston Astros Series (1-3 Series Loss)
    Game 1 – The season began with a loss to the Astros at home. Justin Verlander was electric and shut the Rangers down over six innings. George Springer hit a leadoff homer, becoming the only player to do that in two consecutive opening days. Cole Hamels labored hard and gave up three runs over 5.2 innings. Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus both had two hits. Joey Gallo was hitless from the two-hole. Loss 4-1.

    Game 2 – The Rangers won a solid victory behind Doug Fister. Fister was above average and gave up one run over five innings. The bullpen kept it scoreless. Alex Claudio, Chris Martin, Kevin Jepsen, and Keone Kela were all contributors. Dallas Keuchel took the loss. Shin-Soo Choo nabbed three hits in the Rangers lone win of the series. Win 5-1.

    Game 3 – Lance McCullers Jr. trounced the Rangers with 10 strikeouts over 5.1 innings. Elvis Andrus was moved to leadoff and managed the Rangers only three runs. The bottom 4 of the Rangers order, Rougie Odor, Juan Centeno, Drew Robinson, and Carlos Tocci went a combined 0-15. Drew Robinson managed to draw a walk at least. The Rangers pitcher Matt Moore was chased after 4.0 IP but the bullpen did not fare much better. 8-3 Loss.

    Game 4 – The Rangers lost badly again in this game. Former Pirate Gerrit Cole was very sharp. He pitched 7.0 innings, struck out 11, and gave up one run. Joey Gallo managed two runs. The Rangers pitchers were pummeled by Evan Gattis, Carlos Correa, and Jose Altuve. Mike Minor took the loss, Cole and the Astros took the series. Loss 8-2.

@Oakland A’s (2-2 Series Tie)
    Game 1 – The Rangers went to Oakland to face off against Ranger killer Andrew Triggs. Triggs was good as usual, putting in five great innings. Triggs was dueling with Bartolo Colon, who painted each side of the strike zone for six innings. Kevin Jepsen came in after and blew the tie, but both starters were excellent. Beltre had a rough 0-4 day. Loss 3-1.

    Game 2 – Aging ace Cole Hamels struck out 11 in this low scoring win. Nomar Mazara and Rougie Odor both had good days at the plate. Claudio, Martin, and Kela were lights out to preserve the lead. A’s ace Kendall Graveman gave up four runs and eight hits. Win 4-1.

    Game 3 – The Rangers bats were again silenced when Sean Manaea threw eight stellar innings. The Rangers managed only four hits in another anemic offensive outing. Doug Fister was chased early, but the Rangers were significantly behind for most of the game. Loss 6-2.

    Game 4 – Daniel Mengden was struck hard in the leg by a ball off the bat of Rougie Odor. Mengden managed to keep pitching and would later throw a ball away in the same inning to let runs come in. He was solid, but Martin Perez was also decent. The bullpen was stellar for Texas. They did not give up a run. Kela saved the game after Chris Martin set the table. Choo had 2 RBIs. Rangers salvage the series. Win 6-3.

vs Blue Jays (1-3 Series Loss)
    Game 1 – The Rangers took on their old rivals: The Blue Jays. Both the Rangers and Jays lack many of the major pieces from their 2015/2016 ALDS teams. The Rangers were beaten up as Matt Moore and Jesse Chavez continued to get pummeled. The Rangers gave up eight runs. Again, Choo had two RBIs. Elvis, Beltre, and Drew Robinson also netted an RBI. Marco Estrada turned in a quality start. Loss 8-5.

    Game 2 – Mike Minor was very good in his Saturday start. He turned in a quality start and Diekman and Jepsen followed it up with a scoreless inning each. The Rangers held the Jays to two hits. Joey Gallo was moved down in the order and had two RBIs. Rangers wonn easily behind good pitching. Win 5-1.

    Game 3 – The deciding game of the series would end in misery for the Rangers. Just like in the 2016 ALDS, Hamels was rocked early and gave up several runs. The Rangers were unable to recover from this. Joey Gallo had two more RBIs, but the Rangers lost to one of their major rivals with their ace on the hill for the rubber match. Colon and Claudio were very good in relief, but the Rangers lose a big one at home. 7-4.

    The Rangers have yet to win a series. They’ve lost two and tied one. It will not get any easier with games against the Angels and Astros on the docket for this week.

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
4/9   vs Angels – 7:o5 p.m.
4/10  vs Angels – 7:05 p.m.
4/11   vs Angels – 7:05 p.m.
4/13  @Astros   – 7:10 p.m.
4/14  @Astros   – 3:05 p.m.
4/15   @Astros  – 7:00 p.m.