Arlington, Texas – Texas Rangers left-handed pitcher Robbie Ross made his major league debut as a starting pitcher and he didn’t disappoint. It wasn’t a stellar outing but it was pretty solid. I think people for get that this is the first time Ross has pitched this many pitches and deep in a game.
Ross threw 96 pitches, 63 strikes, tonight over 5.0 innings of work. Some might argue that isn’t very good and he should have gone deeper in the game and yes you are correct, but give the kid a break. He only allowed 2 earned runs, the run in the first was due to an error by Leonys Martin on a play he makes probably 49 of 50 times. Despite that, the 2 runs he did allow were off a home run by Ron Howard. That could have happened to anyone, even Yu Darvish.
Good start: In my opinion, Robbie Ross did a great job tonight. He recorded 7 strike outs and 2 walks. In the end, we know the Rangers won, so no one should really care now about Ryan Howard‘s home run. If Ross is able to be more effective, get to the 6th and keep the score below 4 or less runs, he’ll do just fine as a starter. I’ll admit, I was a bit pessimistic when he was announced in the starting rotation, but he continues to get the job done. I think he’s corrected what ever issues he had in the second half of the 2013 season. Looking forward to more games like this.
After the Ryan Howard home run it seemed like the Rangers were going to score at any moment, but the Rangers kept missing opportunities. It almost had the feeling of Opening day when the Rangers were down by 6, but quickly came back with 4 runs. Today, the Rangers had to wait until the very end for that to happen.
Holding our breath: Luckily the Rangers bullpen did what they are known for, shutting down the offense. After the Opening day outing by Pedro Figueroa, I’m sure fans held the breath in fear with each pitch. Figueroa walked Chase Utley on 4 pitches. At that point, it would seem dreams were crushed. No one thought the Rangers had a chance. But luckily he was able to get Ryan Howard to hit into a double play to end the inning.
Two Opening day rosters: Seth Rosin was a rule 5 draft pick by the New York Mets from the Phillies, then was later acquired by the Dodgers. He was on the Los Angeles Dodgers Opening day roster while they were in Sydney and on the Texas Rangers Opening day roster on Monday. I’m not sure, but I’m sure that’s a rare feat for a player to pull off. Granted, it did help the Dodgers and Diamondbacks started the season early. Rosin seems to be a nice little gem that Jon Daniels managed to picked up.
Seth Rosin came in 8th to replace Figueroa. During his major league debut on Monday and only allowed 1 hit and recorded one strike out over 1 inning. Today, he pitched 2 solid innings and again allowed only 1 hit and recorded one strike out. Also, he earned his first major league win.
Moreland slump: Maybe it was too early to call it a slump, but everything that Mitch Moreland hit seemed to be hit well and right towards someone. There were several hits that should have been a single, possibly a double, but Ben Revere kept hauling them in. Finally Moreland got the break he needed. He slapped one hard and out of the reach of Revere and turned on the afterburners for a triple. That was his third career triple, (2011, 2013 and 2014).
Moreland would later score off a Leonys Martin single. Moreland hit another solid ball in the ninth for a double and again scored off a Martin single. For a guy most people are dogging on and being critical of Ron Washington to let him DH, he was the hero of the day with two solid hits and runs. Leonys Martin went 4 for 4 with runners in scoring position for the series.
Patience wins the game: The Texas Rangers picked up Shin-Soo Choo during the offseason. After his slow start in spring training many probably were scratching there head wondering if Choo still had what it took. In my opinion, I figured he would flip the switch on when the season started. During the Rangers home opener on Monday, it appeared to be more of the same. But, by game 2, Choo was doing his thing, getting on base. He was on base 4 of 4 times on Tuesday.
Last night, at the most crucial time, Choo was patient. During the 9th inning Choo came up to bat with the bases loaded. After seeing Jonathan Papelbon deliver a 4-pitch walk to Donnie Murphy everyone probably figured Choo would sit on the first pitch. But Choo instead swung wildly at the first pitch; which looked like a ball. Looked like he was trying hard to deliver the game winning run. But Choo calmed down and Papelbon’s pitches stayed wild.
One for the books: This was the first walk-off walk for the Texas Rangers since July 16, 1999. This also marks the first time the Texas Rangers have won back-to-back games against the Philadelphia Phillies. The have now won 4 consecutive opening series and the last 5 of 6. (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014). This is the second walk-off win of the year, the Rangers had to wait until July 29 last year for their second walk-off win.