Drew Smyly, Adrian Sampson Impressive in 2019 Texas Rangers Debuts

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 1: Adrian Sampson #52 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 1, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 1: Adrian Sampson #52 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 1, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /
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The Texas Rangers saw two pitchers make 2019 debuts on Monday. Both Drew Smyly and Adrian Sampson impressed in the 2-1 loss to Houston.

The Texas Rangers dropped the opening game of a 3-game series to the Houston Astros on Monday. The offense failed to generate the firepower seen in the first series of the year and the club lost a close 2-1 division ballgame.

Despite the loss, the Rangers saw the best pitching performances of the season from starter Drew Smyly and reliever Adrian Sampson. While pitching was the biggest concern after a series win against the Cubs, the roles reversed drastically on Monday.

Smyly made his Texas Rangers debut on Monday after being acquired from the Chicago Cubs over the offseason. Smyly, despite only throwing 3 innings, still managed to show some promise. Smyly gave up a lone earned run on four hits. The run came off of a leadoff solo shot from George Springer. In total Smyly threw 73 pitches on his debut walking 2 and striking out 2 before he was eventually pulled.

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Adrian Sampson was even more impressive coming in to relieve Smyly. Sampson, who threw 23 innings in 2018 for the Rangers, was called up Monday morning with Kyle Bird being optioned to Triple-A Nashville. Sampson went 6 innings in relief for Texas giving them more than an ample opportunity to win. The right-hander allowed just 1 run on 4 hits while racking up 3 strikeouts.

Unfortunately for Sampson, going 6 innings and throwing 70 pitches may cause him to have a quick visit to Arlington. Sampson, who was called up to be the long-man for the Rangers bullpen now will be unavailable for a few days meaning Texas is essentially down a man. It’s unknown whether he’ll be sent down with a replacement promoted or Texas will just wait it out. With Sampson impressing so much in relief, the Rangers may decide to hold on to the 27-year old hoping he can continue this form.

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