Texas Rangers Starters Giving the Team a Lift

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The Texas Rangers have won four in a row, and five of six, including two wins each in Boston and New York and are currently just three games under .500. For a team that has been beleaguered with injuries, this would be quite an achievement, especially with reinforcements arriving on Monday in the form of Josh Hamilton. While I’ve discussed the Rangers’ lineup changes being a big key in recent days, the team’s starting rotation has performed very well during the streak as well.

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In three of the six games Texas has allowed just one run, but what’s been most beneficial for the team has been the starters going deeper into ballgames in the last three contests. Nick Martinez (7 innings, 2 earned) Colby Lewis (6 2/3, 5) and Wandy Rodriguez (6 2/3, 1) have helped save the second-most used bullpen in baseball (2/3 of an inning behind Tampa) which ideally will lead to rested arms and more effective performances from the ‘pen. The team is ranked 27th in baseball with their bullpen ERA of 4.56, so even if the rest doesn’t help improve their performance, limiting their chances to blow the lead could also help the Rangers win more games.

The Texas Rangers starters have actually performed well all season, ranking 13th in ERA with a 4.00, which is just behind Washington’s 3.96. While this is obviously skewed downward by the magnificence of Nick Martinez (4-0, 1.99), Wandy has allowed just one run in four of his six starts this season (2-2, 3.38) and Lewis, while not sharp lately, has been backed up by a surging offense when he’s not on his game en route to his 4-2 record and 3.49 ERA.

Obviously Ross Detwiler (get well soon!) was a sore spot in the rotation with the team only winning one of his seven starts, but three of his four starts before he landed on the disabled list were pretty solid, allowing a total of six runs in sixteen innings. His replacement, Phil Klein, went 5 1/3 in Boston on Wednesday night allowing just one run. Outside of his first relief appearance in the opening series of the season, Klein has been a solid contributor for Texas when he’s been up. His next start on Monday at home will be interesting to watch with teams having more video, ok any video, of Klein as a starter.

The Texas Rangers are on the verge of sweeping the Yankees in the Bronx, and while it’s still plenty early in the season, it’s akin to watching the original Star Wars. Watching a sweep of the Yankees (blowing up the Death Star) just never gets old. With the offense putting up 25 in the past two games and the starters going deeper, the Rangers could be one step closer to .500 on Sunday night.

Next: The Return of Fielder's Home Run Stroke

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