Writer: Aaron Hendon

Rangers strike out a lot on opening weekend, onto Oakland

April 3rd, 2018. Game 6

Rangers record 1-4

The major league season is underway and a full series is in the books. The Rangers are in Oakland to start a 4 game set, Bartolo Colon will take the ball for the good guys. Losing 3 of 4 to the defending World Series champs was not exactly the way the Rangers envisioned the start to the new season. They struggled on both sides of the game losing 22-11 combined in the 4 games.

MVP: Elvis Andrus

The Rangers shortstop is entering his 10th big league season and got off to the best start out of anyone else in the lineup, going 6 for 10 with 2 walks. Andrus also smacked a homer off Astros’ starter, Lance McCullers, Saturday afternoon.

With 158 more games left in the 2018 season, the Rangers have some issues that need some addressing sooner rather than later. For starters, they struck out 40 times in the series. OUCH. As a team, they were the 4th worst team last year in all of baseball, striking out nearly 1,500 times. Manager Jeff Banister made a conscious effort when making the lineup to space out the “strikeout” guys. It’s no good having them bunched together, since you are basically asking to kill any potential run-scoring inning. Bannister did just that, sliding Gallo up to the 2 spot and pushing Odor to the 8 hole. The team as a whole still struggled to put the ball in play.

On the pitching side, 3 newly acquired starting pitchers took the ball for the first time wearing the red, white, and blue. Doug Fister, Matt Moore, and Mike Minor combined threw 13.2 innings. They allowed 7 runs on 14 hits and 12 strikeouts. The starting pitching struggled to go deep into ball games which is a bit of a concern, but not as much as the whopping strikeout numbers. If this trend continues, it should take a toll on the bullpen as the season goes on. The bullpen held their own on a lot of opportunities due to the fact that the starters are not going deep in the games. In 2017, the bullpen struggled to hold onto inherited leads. Over the weekend as a group, they only took over 1 lead and they shut the door allowing 0 runs to grab the W.

Looking ahead to the Oakland series, the A’s dropped 3 of 4 just like the Rangers to start the year so one of the teams may fall to the last place in the AL West. Former Athletic Bartolo Colon will make his Ranger debut in Oakland facing righty sidearmer Andrew Triggs who is 3-0 with a 0.72 ERA against the Rangers. The first pitch is set for 8:05 CT.

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