By Mark Miller
So how does a team that committed eight errors, managed only two home runs and two stolen bases and had an Opening Day starter with a 15.75 earned run average split its first six games?
Welcome to the 2014 version of your Texas Rangers.
After dropping their first game 14-10 at the newly-named Globe Life Park at Arlington last Monday, Texas won its next two at home in walk-off fashion. Then after losing their first two on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays, Yu Darvish makes his season debut in stunning fashion in a 3-0 victory on Sunday.
There were plenty of positives, especially on the mound and especially after Opening Day. Darvish yielded just seven hits while walking one and striking out six in seven strong debut innings. Young starters Martin Perez and Robbie Ross also fared well giving up only two earned runs each in 5.0 and 5.2 innings, respectively while rookie Nick Martinez gave up only three runs in six innings. Plus the relief staff fared well after Opening Day, especially newly-acquired Seth Rosin and new closer Joaquin Soria, each with a victory and Soria with his first save Sunday.
On offense, right-fielder Alex Rios and shortstop Elvis Andrus were the most consistent of the every day players. Rios had eight hits in 23 at-bats (.348 average) with a team-leading five runs batted in while Andrus batted .333 with a key two-run home run Sunday.
Reserves Jim Adducci drove in two runs with two pinch hits in three games while Josh Wilson brought in three for the week while hitting .625. The team would like first baseman Prince Fielder (.167) and third baseman Adrian Beltre (.238) and catcher J.C. Arencibia (.154) to drive in more than a combined three runs.
Since one of the goals was to hold the fort until help arrived, a 3-3 record after the first week wasn’t too bad. The Rangers must figure out a way to be better so they don’t fall too far behind too early.
Red Sox, Astros on Tap
The Rangers begin Week 2 of the new season at Fenway Park against the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox. They then return home for a weekend series with the Houston Astros.
Boston lost four of its first six games including their first three home games to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Red Sox are led by shortstop Xander Bogaerts with a .381 average. Former Ranger Mike Napoli tops the team with two homers and seven runs batted in. Starters John Lackey and Felix Doubront have the team’s two victories.
Texas will put Scheppers, Perez and Ross on the mound, the first time any of them have started at legendary Fenway Park.
The Astros also split their first six games with former Ranger Scott Feldman winning two after yielding just one earned run in 13.2 innings. Second baseman Jose Altuve leads the regular hitters with a .300 average and four runs batted in.
4/7 @Red Sox 6:00 P.M.
4/8 @Red Sox 5:10 P.M.
4/9 @Red Sox 3:05 P.M.
4/11 vs Astros 7:05 P.M.
4/12 vs Astros 7:05 P.M.
4/13 vs Astros 2:05 P.M.