Texas Rangers Week One Review: Roller Coaster Has Begun

Matthew IrbySenior Analyst IApril 13, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 6:  Pitcher Kevin Millwood #33 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Cleveland Indians during the home opener at Rangers Ballpark April 6, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ranger fans like no other fans know what roller coaster type seasons are like, the Texas Rangers have been having that share over the past ten seasons.

Last year the entire season almost went by before the Rangers swept a series and were swept in a series, it took the first week of the season to accomplish both this year.

The Rangers opened the season at home with a three game series against the Cleveland Indians. The Rangers went on to sweep the Tribe 9-1, 8-5, 12-8 and comply 29 runs, 37 hits, and 18 extra-base hits to start the season.

Then the team travelled up to Detroit for a three-game series against the 1-3 Tigers.  However this time the Tigers would do the sweeping, 2-15, 3-4, 4-6.  The Rangers bullpen allowed 13 runs to score in only 7.1 innings pitched.

Along with being outscored by 16 runs, the Ranger bats only collected 13 total hits in the series and hitting .231 (3-13) with runners in scoring position.

Monday: W, 9-1 (1-0)

The Rangers season opener and the hitting started off right away scoring four runs in the second inning off 2008 AL Cy Young Award Winner Cliff Lee.  Hank Blalock and Jarrod Saltalamacchia highlighted the hitting each going 2-4 with a home run, two runs, and three RBI.  On the mound Kevin Millwood looked like his old self, 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 hits, 1 BB, 5 K.

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday: W, 8-5 (2-0)

Once again the Ranger bats got the team off to an early lead with another four run second inning.  In all the team got the most of their nine hits with eight of them going for extra bases, three home runs by Nelson Cruz (2) and Elvis Andrus, triple from Josh Hamilton, and three doubles from Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Thursday: W, 12-8 (3-0)

For the third straight day the Ranger bats burst out of the gates scoring five runs in the first and another four in the second inning.  Marlon Byrd highlight the Ranger offense going 2-5 with a three-run HR and two-run double.  Andruw Jones also got his first Ranger start and made the most of it by collecting three hits including a double.

Friday: L, 2-15 (3-1)

In the Tigers home opener the Rangers and newly signed pitcher Kris Benson received their first whooping of the year.  Former Ranger prospect Armando Galarraga shutdown the Texas offense going seven innings allowing only one run on five hits and striking out eight.

Cruz had the only highlight of the Ranger offense hitting his third home run in only his third game.

Saturday: L, 3-4 (3-2)

The Ranger were only able to collect two hits in the game against Tiger ace Justin Verlander, but made both hits count (Blalock solo home run and Hamilton two-run two-out single).  Unfortunately the Rangers needed at least one more run as the Tigers were able to get four runs off Ranger starter Matt Harrison.

Sunday: L, 4-6 (3-3)

In the final game of the series the Ranger bats came back to life and scored all four runs in the first three innings.  Hamilton launched his first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the first inning and then Kinsler hit a two-run homer in the third.

Millwood again was golden for the Rangers, going seven shutout innings and allowing only four hits and striking out six.  But the game was lost in the eighth when reliever C.J. Wilson retired only one of the seven batters he faced, the other six eventually scored.

The Rangers return home for a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles before a three-game series hosting the Kansas City Royals.