3 takeaways from the Rangers disastoruous opening series
After an ugly first three games of the season, the Rangers find themselves 0-3 for the first time since 2007. Is it already time for some changes?
Yikes. So is anybody else excited about the season opener Friday against the Athletics? For the first time since 2007 the Texas Rangers are 0-3 to start the season. However, there is no mulligan. The Rangers already find themselves 3 games behind the Houston Astros who have started the season 3-0.
While you never want to get swept in the opening series, the sky isn’t falling just yet. The Cleveland Indians are a very good team. One win away from being World Series champions a season ago and they only got better in the offseason.
Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the very ugly from the season opening series.
1. Sam Dyson’s role as the closer may be in danger.
It’s hard to get off to a worse start than Sam Dyson. The closer has allowed eight earned runs in his first two innings of the season. Dyson has already matched his loss total from a season ago and has given up almost half of his earned run total.
Thankfully for Dyson, it can’t get worse than a 72.00 ERA. At least we hope so. However, this ugly start has shined light on some very real concerns about the sinker baller.
His inability to produce swings and misses is concerning especially for a closer. Last year he produced the second lowest swing and miss rate among closers, only inducing a swing and miss 8.3 percent of the time.
Dyson has only forced one swing in miss in his 45 pitches thrown so far this season. This isn’t that big of a deal if hitters aren’t making hard contact. However, 60 percent of batted balls have been hard hit, 30 percent of them going for line drives.
With Jeremy Jeffress and Matt Bush having decent starts to the season aside from an Edwin Encarnacion home run, you have to wonder if the leash is short for Dyson.
2. Yu Darvish continues to disappoint in big games.
Yu Darvish’s first opening day start didn’t go quite as planned. It continues a worrisome trend of Darvish failing to show up in big games. With a huge decision looming for the Rangers on wether or not to keep Darvish, this is a trend that needs to be reversed.
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After jumping out to a 5-1 lead against one of the games best pitchers in Corey Kluber, Yu let the Indians back into the game giving up four earned runs in his 6.1 innings pitched.
Scoring five runs off a pitcher like Kluber should be more than enough for a win, especially with your ace on the mound. Darvish in also 0-2 in his two postseason starts with a 5.40 ERA.
If the Rangers have serious World Series aspirations in 2017 they need Darvish to figure it out in big games.
3. This team is going to hit a lot of home runs.
Perhaps it’s fitting that the Rangers are off to their worst start since 2007. This team has looked like a mid 2000’s, late 1990’s, Rangers team. They currently lead the league in home runs with six but they also lead the league in runs given up with 21.
The rotation and bullpen will improve, so expect those numbers to improve over the coming weeks. But it’s a very high possibility that this team will lead the league in home runs by the time the season is over.
In each of the past three days a Texas Ranger has hit the furthest home run. Carlos Gomez’s 451 foot blast on opening day, Joey Gallo’s 442 foot moonshot on Tuesday and Nomar Mazara’s 451 foot upper deck home run last night were all the longest hit balls of the season so far.
Ten of the Rangers 14 runs scored so far this season have been via the long ball. Which has been the highest ratio in all of baseball.
Their .247 ISO rating is second in baseball, only trailing the Detroit Tigers who have only played one game due to bad weather.
While chicks dig the long ball, it would be nice to see this team make more contact. Their 31.5 strikeout percentage is highest in the American League while their .227 average is the fifth lowest in the American League.
The Rangers are off to a rough start. But hey, they can only go up from here. They return to action tomorrow night as they take on the Oakland Athletics who are off to a 1-2 start to the season.
- Game One – Raul Alcantara (0-0, — ERA) vs. A.J. Griffin (0-0, — ERA)
- Game Two – Kendall Graveman (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Yu Darvish (0-0, 5.68 ERA)
- Game Three – Sean Manaea (0-0, 6.00 ERA) vs. Martin Perez (0-1, 4.50 ERA)
Despite the Rangers success in the past couple of seasons, they have struggled against the Oakland Athletics going 19-19 over that two year stretch.
The biggest task for Rangers pitchers will be handling the always dangerous Khris Davis who hit ten home runs against Texas a season ago. Davis has already hit two home runs this season.