The Texas Rangers began the week at home facing Shohei Ohtani and the LA Angels. Doug Fister was passable and and lasted five innings. He gave up three runs, but did not walk anyone. Albert Pujols and Elvis Andrus belted a homer in the Angels win. The game was pretty one-sided and the Rangers trailed the entire game. Rougie Odor tweaked his hamstring and was relieved by perennial top prospect Jurickson Profar. The Angels lead the league in runs scored, and it showed this series. Loss 8-3.
If the opening loss was rough for the Rangers, Game 2 was even worse. Martin Perez faced off against another southpaw, Tyler Skaggs. Skaggs featured a loopy breaking ball and was very effective through five innings. He gave up one run. Martin Perez was brutalized by the potent Angels attack. Perez had more walks than innings pitched. He went 3.0 IP and gave up 8 earned runs. Drew Robinson had the team’s only RBI and continues to be a young bright spot. The Rangers were pummeled and the game was a total blowout. Loss 11-1.
Jaime Barria made his MLB debut and looked very good. He went 5.0 IP and gave up one run. This was another one-sided game where the Rangers offense was shut down. Matt Moore was average in his start, giving up three runs over five innings. The Rangers again fell behind early and never really got close to winning. The Rangers were swept by LA, but that is not even the worst part. Star infielder Elvis Andrus was pegged in the arm in the 9th inning. His elbow was shattered and he will be out 6-8 weeks. The Rangers left the LA series without any dignity, wins, or healthy starting middle infielders. Loss 7-2.
Pics from Game 3 against the Angels: here
The Rangers faced off against the Houston Astros in their second series of the week. Again the offensive performance from the Rangers was poor. With Delino DeShields, Elvis Andrus, and Rougie Odor all injured; the Rangers were forced to start a more inexperienced lineup. Cole Hamels was outdueled by Gerrit Cole, who struckout 14 batters. Hamels gave up two homers to George Springer Dinger, both shots to right field. The Rangers countered with two homers of their own, one from Joey Gallo, and one from Robinson Chirinos. The Rangers then blew the lead almost immediately. Kevin Jepsen was pitching when a single to center was misplayed by Drew Robinson and a run scored. Astros win a pitchers duel behind Cole. Loss 3-2.
Mike Minor gave up five runs in the 4th inning. He pitched well in the other innings. The Rangers chipped away at Charlie Morton and the Astros bullpen with four homers to tie the game. Joey Gallo, Adrian Beltre, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Ronald Guzman all stroked homers to tie the game. The game went into extra innings tied at five after the Rangers bullpen was exceptional. Barnette, Bush, Kela, Martin and Claudio all turned in scoreless outings. Ronald Guzman came up in the 10th inning with the bases loaded and hit a ball sharply to the pitcher. The ball deflected off of him and a run scored. Alex Claudio recorded the save and final out in this thrilling game. Win 6-5.
Bortolo “Big Sexy” Colon faced off against Astros ace Justin Verlander in the rubber match. The game was exceptionally exciting and was broadcasted on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Verlander was excellent, pitching 8 innings of one hit ball. His one mistake was a solo shot to Robinson Chirinos. Verlander was crisp, and showed why the Astros traded for him last season. The timeless wonder that is Bartolo Colon actually outdueled someone throwing a one-hitter, throwing a perfect game through 7 innings. Colon’s veteran moxie was on full display Sunday. His two-seam fastball was Greg Maddux tier, constantly backdooring right handed hitters. Jose Altuve, the defending AL batting champ, was fooled badly on his first two ABs and struck out back to back times. This is rare for Altuve, who is considered one of the hardest 2nd basemen to strike out. Colon was absolutely electric, confounding the high-octane Astros offense. In the 7th inning Carlos Correa worked a 3-1 count and took a high pitch for ball four. The game was 1-0 at the time, and one of the best pitching duels in recent memory. Colon then gave up a slicing double to Josh Reddick. Yuli Gurriel dinged a sac fly into center field to tie the game. The man who gave the Rangers the lead initially gave them the lead in extra innings. Robinson Chirinos crushed a deep double to center to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead. Colon received a no decision, but pitched the best game the Rangers have seen in a long time. Win 3-1.
The Rangers started off the week in a brutal way but managed to salvage it with a series win over the defending World Champs. The Rangers now lack their starting second baseman, shortstop, and center fielder. It is only two weeks into the season. Hopefully this season does not turn into another 2014…
Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
4/16 @Rays 6:10 p.m.
4/17 @Rays 6:10 p.m.
4/18 @Rays 12:10 p.m.
4/20 vs Mariners 7:05 p.m.
4/21 vs Mariners 7:05 p.m.
4/22 vs Mariners 2:05 p.m.