Apr 6, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) throws a pitch during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Texas Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Marwin’s single: Yu Darvish seems to pitch very well against the Houston Astros. If you recall last year during game 2 of the season he took a no-hitter/perfect game to the 9th inning. On the very last batter, Marwin Gonzalez hit a grounder up the middle just passed Darvish to spoil it. Before that, it was 26 up, 26 down.
Darvish started off the season on the disabled list, but showed now sign of rust during his first outing against the Tampa Bay Rays. He pitched 7 innings and recorded 6 strike outs. I think tonight Darvish will again pitch very well, will he carry another no-hitter deep in the game? Who knows, but if Yu Darvish is pitching against the Astros, get your popcorn ready and watch some baseball.
Lineup shuffle: With Adrian Beltre currently resting due to a grade 1 strain in his quad, Ron Washington is having to do what he can to replace his bat. Originally, Alex Rios was moved up a spot behind Prince Fielder, but today he has Rios in the 3-hole. I think he’s done this to change things up a bit and to mix it up some for Fielder.
Fielder is currently only batting .162 with 3 RBI and 0 home runs over 9 games. Not what you expect out of Fielder, but I expect that to change soon, hopefully tonight. It is just a matter of time before he hits a home run over the right field fence.
Going streaking: The Texas Rangers have been streaking against the Astros in a few categories. They haven’t lost the Silver Boot Series in 7 years. Also, the Rangers have a current inning streak of 11 against the Astros. That is the current longest streak in the majors against and opponent. No disrespect to the Astros, but I don’t see any end to the either streak. The Astros are improving, but they still have a bit more to go before they’ll take the Silver Boot back.
Stat Anomaly: Mitch Moreland currently has a batting average that is higher than his on-base percentage. He’s batting .269 while his on-base is .259. How can this happen? It wouldn’t stand out as much if he had a walk. But, it happens typically early in the season when a player has more sac flies than walks. The reason, sac flies do not count as an at-bat. It is considered an act the player is doing on purpose to score a run.
Final thoughts: The Texas Rangers bullpen hasn’t been as sharp as it has been in the past. Currently the relievers have an ERA of 6.21 while the starers have an ERA of 4.50. If the Rangers are going to sweep the Astros, the starters will need to pitch well and deep in the game. Also, Joakim Soria will need to show he’s the closer the Rangers hope he is.