G3: Rangers go to 3-0 behind 12-8 sweep of Indians

Who would have thought that I’d get to use the sweep graphic in the first series of the year? I’d say nobody. For the first time in thirteen years, going back to our first championship year of 1996, the Rangers have started off the season 3-0. That year, they went 7-0 to start the season on the way to their first ever playoff appearance. One fun little note about the 1996 team. I didn’t remember this until I looked it up, but the first two series there were three game sweeps of both the Red Sox & Yankees.
Anyway, to the mound this day was Brandon McCarthy. A guy a lot of fans are essentially saying “Come on, man – this is it. NOW!” in terms of his pitching with the Rangers. By all accounts he’s supposed to be better than he was the last few years since he got here from Chicago. I think just about every Rangers fan wants him to do good, if even at a minimum you go “But… John Danks!” Anyway, McCarthy went out there and did something important. He didn’t embarrass himself, or the team. Not stellar, mind you – but passable enough. Five innings on 105 pitches, only four hits, but did have four walks. Two of those hits were home runs. One good thing was seven strikeouts. Looks like he was burned by the longball. Take those away, and it would have been a pretty decent outing.
Can’t say the same for Scott Feldman. Scott, only went 2.1 innings, but gave up five hits, and two more home runs for a total of four earned runs.
The funny thing is before this, we just utterly destroyed Carl Pavano, who probably won’t have a job anywhere anymore. That is if this pitching keeps up, coupled with what Joe Torre said about him in his Yankees book. Six hits, three walks, NINE EARNED RUNS in a total of just one official inning. He was out in the second, but never retired anyone. Thirty nine pitches, and twelve batters faced. Nine of them got on base, and all of them scored. I mean. WOW, THAT’S BAD! I actually missed this stuff, as I thought the game started at 2PM, when it started at 1, so I missed the first couple of innings. Bummer, those were the best ones.
Of course, the flip side of that horrendous performance by Carl Pavano (who now has an ERA of 81.00) was that our offense was really in gear. First off, with this being the series finale, and a day game after a night game, we got the rest of our position players in the game. Andruw Jones & Omar Vizquel started this. Jones’ first game as a Ranger was pretty good. 3-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. One of his hits was a double. To that, we had three doubles in all, Marlon Byrd & Ian Kinser got their first home runs of the season, and there were eight singles. Kinsler & Jones had the most hits with three. Young, Byrd, & Vizquel had two hits each, and our batting averages for the starting lineup are looking pretty darned good (except for Chris Dais, who is hitting just .091 for the season so far).
Was a good way to set outselves off for the road in Detroit. Funny comment on the radio, they said there was a big sign in the Rangers clubhouse about “no red on the road”. Rut-roh. :) This game starts something odd, it was the first of four consecutive day games. All three games in Detroit are day games. That seems quite odd. It’s not like this is Wrigley Field or anything, Detroit is not a day only town. Unless it’s a “It’s cold there, and playing in the sun is warmer” kind of issue.