The Rangers just looked awful tonight. The pitching was bad, the defense was bad, and the hitting was bad. They just got beat by a team who, as a team, makes less than A-Rod will this season. There were only three guys in the Astros starting lineup I had ever heard of before: Jose Altuve, Carlos Pena, and Ronnie Cedeno.
Here are a few things to take from this opening day game:
Berkman and Pierzynski didn’t look bad. In fact, I think Berkman is going to turn out to be a nice addition.
Leonys Martin didn’t look like he had a clue what he was doing at the plate. JohnKruk had it right when he was breaking down Martin’s swing in his last at-bat. He was trying to hit a homerun with every swing and if he continues to do that, he’s going to be awful.
Speaking of which, at times it seemed like that was the Rangers offensive strategy for the game: swing for the fences. There were WAY too many balls hit into the air.
Derek Lowe threw one bad pitch and it cost them 3 runs.
Matt Harrison wasn’t awful, but he wasn’t good. He struck out 9 but gave up 5 earned in 5 2/3 innings. That’s against a team who hit .269 in spring training (good for 21st in the league), and who hit .252 last year (23rd in the league).
Apparently Ian Kinsler cannot catch a baseball. He flubbed two relay throws and then booted a bare hand play in the 8th. The TV announcers excused him for having to make a tough play, but I don’t give Kinsler any excuses. I’ve said it before, he led all second basemen last year in errors. He’s flat out the worst defensive second baseman in the league. Until he decides to start playing real defense, he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt from me, even on tough plays.
Overall, the team just looked flat. A lot of fly balls, a lot of ground balls. Not very many balls hit hard.
The Astros, on the other hand, looked pretty good. They pitched very well. Erik Bedard got a 3+ inning save. Justin Maxwell had two triples and 50 year old Rick Ankiel hit a pinch hit three run homer.
Well, the Rangers started last season 15-2 ( or something like that) and we all know how that ended. So, one game down. Rangers are 0-1 and last place in the division…Heh. The Astros take an early lead in the AL West.