Mar 13, 2014; Surprise, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers pitcher Martin Perez (33) throws during the second inning against the San Francisco Giants at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Arlington, Texas – The sunset and managed to shine on the Texas Rangers again today. Hopefully they do not have a hangover after the day they had yesterday against the Philadelphia Phillies. Both Tanner Scheppers and Cliff Lee got hit hard and often yesterday. Between Lee and Scheppers, they each allowed 7 or more runs, which was the most by a pair of Opening day pitcher since 1974. (Elias Sports Bureau).
The Rangers allowed a club record for runs on an Opening day (13), not the start they wanted. Will that happen again today? No, I don’t think so. Martin Perez, who turns 23 on Friday, will have a better day than Scheppers. I think one thing that Perez has going for him is it is a night game. The Rangers don’t seem to play their best ball in day game, and also I think Scheppers was trying to do too much over the plate.
Perez is entering his sophomore year as a pitcher for the Rangers. Many wonder if he’ll suffer a sophomore slump, but I’m optimistic he’ll pitch well throughout the year. He has had issues where he’s allow situations get to him and impact his game, but I think having a year under his belt he’ll be stronger mentally. Also, Martin Perez pitches very well against inter-league teams.
Alex Rios is a hitting machine on Opening day. Rios has a batting average of .394 on Opening day, which ranks 6th since 2006 (min 25 at-bats). Rios is basically just continuing what he did last September where he was basically the best hitter in the lineup when everyone else was struggling. In my opinion, Rios is someone you should keep your eye on. I expect him to stay hot early in the season.
With another windy day at the ballpark, I expect another chance for the Texas Rangers offense to hit some balls deep in the park. Yesterday the bats came alive and seemed to score often, but unfortunately, so did the Phillies.
The Texas Rangers are going against A.J. Burnett, who is a very good pitcher. Burnett hasn’t had a great spring training and if there is anytime the Rangers have a chance to get to him, it is today. The Rangers are 0-1 after one, I don’t expect them to drop this game. Time to even things up and have some fun. I’m still excited about the season and you should be too. Go Rangers!