Time for Rangers to hit reset button, not panic button

DALLAS - How are you feeling, Rangers fans? Have you recovered from the shock of losing three extraordinarily winnable games? Have you recovered from the fact that this start by the Texas Rangers that hasn't been seen in ten years?

Have you recovered from the fact that the bullpen, the source of the least amount of concern between 2016 and 2017, has gotten off to a similarly harsh start as the opening bullpen of 2016? Have you recovered from the fact that the Rangers are the only team in their division that hasn't won a game, four days into the season?

The beautiful thing about baseball is that every day is a new start.

If you've recovered, I've recovered. The first three games against Cleveland weren't all doom and gloom.

For starters, the bats showed that they aren't lifeless. Over the three games that started the season, the Rangers managed eleven extra-base hits out of their 22 total knocks. Of those eleven, six were home runs.

There were seven multi-hit games by Rangers. The Rangers with multi-hit games? Elvis Andrus, Rougned Odor, Nomar Mazara, Joey Gallo. Of the Rangers that needed to make an impact in the opening days, those four had an impressive series.

Those four accounted for four of the five Rangers who whacked homers in this series. Andrus, who is still trying to live up to the contract extension he signed years ago but is coming off his career best year at the plate.

Odor JUST signed an extension a week ago and showed money can't buy swagger.

Mazara is rumored to be next in line for an extension and taken to the third spot in the lineup with aplomb.

And Gallo, trying to prove that he can alleviate Jon Daniels' concerns if/when Adrian Beltre ever retires and make good on his enormous promise.

No, your one, two and three starters were not their sharpest. But with 6 1/3 and four, 6 and three and 6 and three, Yu Darvish, Martin Perez and Cole Hamels made sure Texas stayed in the game with a fighting chance.

For all the worries about Darvish, who is entering a contract year and in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, Perez who buckled down and rebounded from a rocky first two innings on Tuesday with four scoreless, and Hamels, who finished 2016 poorly, the top three starters for the Rangers did just fine for the first series of the season.

And while Sam Dyson didn't proverbially get back on the horse after his poor outing Opening Day outing, Matt Bush did. After 1.2 innings and a blown save on Monday night, Bush came out on Wednesday, worked himself into trouble, but then went strikeout, fly out, strikeout through the heart of the Indians lineup to preserve a lead.

Which other relief pitchers had a great series? Jose LeClerc, who went two innings of shutout, three strikeout ball and showed that he was ready to go this season.

Tony Barnette came out for his debut on Wednesday, allowed one hit, but then got out of trouble. Dario Alvarez and Alex Claudio came in for specific batters and did their job to retire them.

Take a deep breath. There are 159 regular season games left. That's 1,431 innings. 8,586 outs. Hopefully, when those are exhausted, the Rangers get to play even more baseball.

No, you don't want to make season predictions based on the aforementioned positive feelings and stats. By the same token, don't make season predictions based off of 0-3. Hit the reset button. It's time to recover. There's another game tonight, after all.

 

If you want to tell Matt that he's crazy and it's already time to hit the panic button, you can chat with him on Twitter @FisherWritesMLB.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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