The day started with Tanner Scheppers trying to extend Texas’ winning streak to 3 and ended with Joakim Soria striking out the last batter to preserve that streak. Scheppers had a good 1st inning allowing only 1 hit and allowing no runs to score. The Rangers lineup rewarded him with 3 runs in the bottom of the 1st and gave Scheppers some room to work with. Scheppers had a nice shutout 2nd and the Rangers added a run bringing the score to 4-0. Then Scheppers, who has been a bullpen guy since college, had a terrible inning allowing 4 runs and 2 homers before being taken out of the game.
Scheppers has been preparing for a starting role since the offseason but hasn’t shown consistency and dominance that you need from a starter. It’s pretty clear that Scheppers can’t handle being a starter. His final stat line of 2.1 innings allowing 6 hits and 6 runs, all earned, and 2 homers. It seems almost inevitable that when Matt Harrison comes off the DL he will join the lineup and Scheppers will move to the bullpen.
With his numbers from last year, and the first 2 innings of todays ballgame, it’s clear that Scheppers helps this team more as a bullpen late inning guy than as a starter. Luckily for Scheppers the Rangers lineup was able to put up runs early and often. As I watched Erasmo Ramirez warm up for the Mariners, it looked like he was wild and could be hit early. The Rangers took full advantage of Ramirez and got 4 runs in the first 2 innings before Kevin Kouzmanoff’s leadoff double in the 3rd took Ramirez out of the game.
Kouzmanoff, who is replacing Adrian Beltre, has taken full advantage of his call-up. In the 1st the Mariners intentionally walked Prince Fielder with 1st base open to face Kouzmanoff. He immediately greeted Ramirez with a rbi double. Since his call-up Kouzmanoff has hit safely in every game with an average of .414 and 6 rbi’s in 8 games. He has played a major role for this team and has produced enough that the organization has a tough decision regarding him when Beltre comes back. He will more than likely be sent back to the minors however since he is primarily a backup 3rd baseman instead of an utility player.
Shin-Soo Choo was able to drive a ball into the right field seats for his 1st home run of the season. Also Hector Noesi, who was recently acquired from Seattle, was able to come in for Scheppers and throw 2 scoreless innings. Pedro Figureoa came in and pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless ball to get his 2nd win of the season. Joakim Soria grabbed his 2nd save of the season tossing an 1-2-3 9th inning and gave the Rangers their 3rd straight win. The Rangers will take on the Chicago White Sox for a weekend series at Globe Life Park.