Collision Changed Game for Cole Hamels

ARLINGTON, TX - MARCH 29: Cole Hamels
ARLINGTON, TX - MARCH 29: Cole Hamels /

The Rangers were hanging in there early Thursday afternoon, but one moment in particular seemed to squander the chances of  keeping the score low enough.

The collision between Cole Hamels and Joey Gallo on Opening Day appeared to be a turning point leading to the Rangers’ 4-1 loss to the Houston Astros.

Disregarding the leadoff homer by Houston’s George Springer, Hamels’ performance had created a sliver of optimism for Rangers fans by the end of the second inning.

Through eight batters, Hamels had struck out three and forced a double play after two innings. Then, to start the third, came Brian McCann’s dribbler down the first-base line.

The ball looked to be headed foul when Gallo, instead of staying home at first, rushed down the base line for a possible tag out.

Seemingly, if Gallo would have stayed on the bag, the ball could have either gone foul or Hamels would have attempted to flip it to first for an easy out. The confused look on Hamels’ face after he nailed Gallo in the head with his knee gave the impression that he was doing what was expected of him.

It will be interesting to see how Gallo responds to a bunt or another awkward ball down the first base line in the future.

After the collision, Hamels walked three of four batters and allowed one run off a sacrifice fly by Carlos Correa. A two-out home run for the Astros followed in the fourth inning.

Time for Some Optimism

Even though the Rangers came up short on Opening Day, let’s just be thankful that no injuries resulted from Hamels’ knee bashing into Gallo’s head.

Next: Rangers Outmatch on Opening Day: 3 Takeaways

Also, Chris Martin and Kevin Jepsen pitched great in relief to give the offense a chance late in the game. So that’s something to feel good about.