A friend asked me a few years ago which baseball experience I’d prefer: sitting through an intense, dramatic, unforgettable game at the ballpark that ends up in a loss; watching an intense, dramatic, unforgettable game that ends up in a loss from my couch; or not seeing a second of a mundane Rangers win and finding out the final score afterwards.
Easiest question ever.
I saw none of Texas 4, Minnesota 3 last night, and I’m very happy.
It was the sixth Rangers victory in seven Justin Grimm (1.59 ERA) and Nick Tepesch (2.53) starts. It was the first time in 23 Major League seasons (and only time in Rangers history) for a club to have rookie pitchers fire back-to-back starts of at least 6.2 innings, no more than one run, and zero walks.
I have no idea whether Grimm had the same command of his curve as he did Sunday against Seattle, and that’s OK with me. I hear Texas was brutal on the basepaths, a rare occurrence that I’m not worried about going forward. I didn’t see Mitch Moreland’s two doubles – both off a lefthander – but I’m encouraged.
I didn’t see Adrian Beltre go yard to straightaway center, but I’m sure it was awesome. I don’t know whether Nelson Cruz’s double and single were well struck, but the way he’s been going lately, I have a pretty good idea.
I see that Tanner Scheppers threw a clean eighth, and my reaction was, “Of course he did.” I notice that Joe Ortiz and Joe Nathan needed every bit of the four-run cushion they inherited, and that’s OK. There will be nights when the relievers you entrust leads to aren’t at their best, and when those nights end up with a “W,” you happily move on.
Think back to early March.
Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli chose someone else.
Colby Lewis is hurt, but Martin Perez is having a standout camp.
Perez gets hurt, and Kyle McClellan is sidelined, too, but you can use get by using Tepesch or Randy Wells sparingly in the season’s first month with all the off-days.
Your Opening Day starter lands on the disabled list after two ugly starts, and is operated on.
After finishing spring training strong, Moreland and David Murphy get off to very slow starts.
Beltre and Elvis Andrus aren’t very productive over the first month, though lots of that involves squaring up into some bad luck.
You taking that?
The Rangers haven’t lost consecutive games. No other team can say that.
They haven’t lost a series yet. The series record is 5-0-2.
With a win either today or tomorrow in Minnesota, the first number trips to 6. At worst, the final number becomes 3. That zero in the middle is safe.
I’ll probably catch a good bit of this afternoon’s game, but if I don’t get the chance, just let me know how it goes.