I was out of practice keeping track of Rangers games, and given this one started at 1PM, I forgot about that until 2, so I missed the beginning. Apparently what I missed was more of the lining up of strikeouts that Darvish had been doing in Game 2. Alexi Ogando continued that parade of Astros walking back to the dugout in this game, too. While he didn’t have 14 of them, he did have 10. Always a good number to see. Even better when it came in 6.1 innings of work!
Remember towards the end of spring training the stink when it was initially announced that Ogando was going to start the home opener on Friday the 5th? I don’t normally listen to local sports radio, but I was listening that day, and I was listening to Galloway’s show, and they were making it out like the Rangers were insane for that move. They argued he should go up against a softer team like the Astros in Game 3, then in a high pressure game like the home opener against Hamilton and the Angels. Fortunately, the Rangers relented, and we got Ogando against the Astros.
Now I like the Astros – they have a few good young players, but way too many problems to be truly competitive. I like Jose Altuve a lot. But let’s face it. These guys aren’t Pujols, Trumbo, Hamilton, and the Angels. They ARE a lighter touch, and Ogando built on that. Still, no one will argue with 6.1 innings, 4H, 1BB, 10K, and ZERO runs allowed. Even if it’s the Astros.
The pitching kept going too. Ross & Scheppers didn’t add to the strikeout total, but did not allow any runs, either. However, the last five outs were handled by Kirkman (2), and Joe Nathan (3). Of those five outs, FIVE of them were strikeouts. Total of 15 by Ranger pitchers. I believe that makes 43 over the first three games of this series. Again, Astros. But still, 43 K’s by our staff over just three games is pretty darned impressive.
Offensively, we put together nine hits. One double (Berkman), and eight singles. No real power in this game, but that’s OK. Doesn’t have to be all the time. Beltre, Cruz, & Pierzynski had two each. The others were scattered. After the first series of the season, we’re up 2-1. Knocking the Astros off their first place AL West perch. :)
Cruz is batting .500, Berkman is batting .600, and AJ is at .300. Oh, and Elvis, fresh off a long term contract extension went 1-5, and he’s still batting .308. :) Don’t know what that means, just felt like throwing some numbers out there. Heh.
Bring on the Astros and the home opener. I unfortunately had to bow out due to some scheduling issues, but I’ll be watching from home. Go get ’em Rangers!