Major League Baseball made its long awaited debut over the weekend. For the Texas Rangers, that meant finally getting to unveil the cover on their new stadium, Globe Life Park. The Rangers opened up their new home to the Colorado Rockies for the inaugural series. In 2019, both teams finished top-12 in runs per game and in the bottom-six in runs allowed. With everything set up for a slugfest, it was each team’s pitching staff that impressed. Despite winning the first game of the series, the Rockies played spoiler, as ultimately the Rangers would drop the Opening Series.
Lance Lynn was the Ranger’s starter for Opening Day. Lynn pitched a strong six innings, struck out nine, walked four and only allowed two hits, both to David Dahl. He threw 100+ pitches for the 25th consecutive start, picking up right where he ended last season. Jesse Chavez, Jonathan Hernandez and Jose Leclerc pitched three shutout innings in relief and earned the 1-0 win. The Ranger’s lone run came on a pair of doubles from Danny Santana and Rougned Odor in the 6th inning.
Saturday’s game was a little bit more exciting but still very low scoring. Mike Minor took the bump for Texas while Colorado countered with veteran Jon Gray. The difference in this game came down to the Ranger’s defense. Minor pitched well, striking out six over five innings, allowing just three hits and was charged with one run. It was a pair of errors in the fourth inning by Odor and Minor that allowed the Rockies to grab a 2-0 lead and they never looked back. Shin-Shoo Choo and Joey Gallo drove in both runs with a couple of singles, but ultimately Colorado came out on top 3-2.
The series finale served as the rubber match, and the Rangers had to of felt good coming into the game with Corey Kluber making his team debut. The two-time Cy Young winner looked solid in his first inning pitched since May 2019. Unfortunately one inning and 18 pitches was all Kluber could pitch. He abruptly left the game after the inning and was replaced by Joe Palumbo. Later the team announced he was experiencing tightness in the back of his right shoulder and will be further examined today.
Texas was able to strike first, scoring a run in the second inning courtesy of a Nick Solak single. Another came in the third when Gallo broke the seal in GLP and smashed a solo shot to right.
The very next inning Trevor Story hit a two-run homerun and Ryan McMahon recorded a sacrifice fly. The Rockies again would not relinquish the lead, instead they expanded it with another Story long-ball, collecting a 5-2 victory.
Texas will look to find their bats this week when the Arizona Diamondbacks swing by for a two-game get-together Tuesday and Wednesday. Kyle Gibson expects to make his debut Tuesday, while the starter for Wednesday is still undecided. Texas has off days this week on Monday and Thursday, so don’t be surprised if Lance Lynn sneaks in another start Wednesday, and Jordan Lyles gets pushed back to the weekend to cover for Kluber.
I still think Texas is built for a 60-game season, they just need to do some fine tuning, while overcoming the loss of Kluber.
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