On an afternoon the Ballpark was forced to skip any possible home-run fireworks, due to winds of up to 20 to 30 mph, the Texas Rangers brought their own. The Rangers finished off a sweep of the Boston Red Sox yesterday afternoon 5 to 1. Texas played well in all aspects of the game and showed the same power and determination that we saw in the first two games.
Of the five runs in yesterday’s game, four of them were home runs. Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli and David Murphy all had home runs in the game. The fifth run was from a RBI double, compliments of second baseman Michael Young. (Young played second in the game and Kinsler was the DH, also Elvis Andrus had the night off with Andres Blanco getting the start at shortstop.)
Matt Harrison brought his fair share of spectacle to the game as well, the starter picked up the win and went a full seven innings. Harrison had eight strikeouts on the game and only two walks. He gave up one earned run, and this run came at the end of the seventh around the hundred pitch mark. This was certainly more production than any of us predicted we could get from him. In past years he has been mediocre, and hopefully he can continue to impress and keep working.
More after the jump…
Another excellent game for the Rangers bullpen, in this game they only needed to carry two innings. Darren Oliver pitched a 1-2-3 inning and earned a strikeout in the outing, followed by Neftali Feliz in a non-save role. Feliz went one inning as well, taking care of all three batters with no issue.
Clay Buchholz earned a lot of praise this off-season so I expected a better outing from him. He went six and two-third innings and gave up five hits and four earned runs. Not a terrible outing but with the lack of run support he didn’t stand a chance against the Rangers.
Closer Jonathan Papelbon came in to work the eighth inning and had a shaky outing. Papelbon gave up two hits and loaded the bases. He battled back and was able to escape the eighth inning after only allowing one run. All three outs came via strikeout for the closer.
The lone RBI in the game came from Carl Crawford. Boston as a team had five hits on the game but was unable to convert much scoring offense. The Sox were only 1 for 4 with runners in scoring position.
Teamwork and Atmosphere:
History was made again yesterday as Kinsler and Cruz both hit home runs, this was the first time in Major League history that two teammates opened the season with home runs in three consecutive games. The Ballpark was electric in a way I’ve never seen it during regular season play. In the eighth inning with 2 outs and Oliver on the mound everyone was standing and cheering, as he secured the out to end the inning. We rinsed and repeated for Feliz in the 9th, this was a crowd that truly appreciated every aspect of the game.
The fans came out in numbers for this series, after Sunday’s attendance numbers a total of 144,828 attended the series. This set a new record for attendance for the first three games of the season for the Texas Rangers. It was a great moment to be there for the series sweep, and felt like postseason baseball in April.
I have been to many Rangers/Red Sox games where the Sox fans would heckle me on my way out. Yesterday in a reversal of roles, I watched as Red Sox fans were teased throughout the game. It is an excellent feeling to start the season 3-0, my wife even conceded that she should have let me bring the broom. (Also I predicted this sweep…sort of, over at the Boston Red Sox Fansided site BoSoxInjection.com. Here’s the link to that post.)
And one last note, courtesy of the BoSoxInjection.com this was the worst start to the season in 15 years for the Red Sox. Not bad Rangers…not bad at all.