Matt Harrison took the mound for the first time in over a year. He got 2 strikeouts while working an 1-2-3 inning. Harrison was solid in his return going 6 innings and throwing 95 pitches. He had 4 strikeouts and allowed 2 runs. Harrison just adds to a rotation that has shown dominance, from Yu Darvish and Martin Perez, and consistency with Colby Lewis and Robbie Ross. Scheppers will join and bolster the bullpen when he returns from his injury.
Harrison pitched well enough to earn a victory but Alexi Ogando came in in the bottom of the 8th and allowed 3 runs. Ogando started out the inning with 2 strikeouts to Robinson Cano and Corey Hart on 6 total pitches. He then gave up a long double off the wall to Justin Smoak and gave up a single to pinch-hitter Dustin Ackley. Kyle Seager crushed a 3 –run homer to deep right field to give Seattle the lead and eventually the win. It was his second of the game and in 53 games against Texas, Seager has an average 0f .319 with 9 homeruns and 29 rbi’s.
The Rangers got out to an early lead in the second when Adrian Beltre, Alex Rios and Mitch Moreland had 3 straight hits scoring 2 runs. Moreland and Rios both went 2-4 and combined to score 3 runs. Rios continues to hit the ball and has collected at least one hit in 12 of the last 13 games. With Prince Fielder starting to hit the ball better and the bottom half of the lineups continuing to produce you are starting to see how well this team can play.
Texas’ season started with 3 of their best starters on the DL and they are waiting on Derek Holland to get back and finally have the rotation they envisioned in the offseason. The Rangers have 11 players on the DL currently but hold a share of the AL West lead, tied with Oakland at 15-10 thru 25 games. This team has shown resilience at the plate and has proven they are never out of any game with 4 walk off wins so far in 2014.
When you look at the rotation there are 2 Cy Young candidates in Martin Perez and Yu Darvish who rank 1st and 3rd respectively in AL ERA. If you would have told me before the season started that through 25 games Fielder and Beltre would have 2 home runs and 13 rbi’s combined and the Rangers would be tied for 1st, I would have thought you were crazy. This has been possible because of dominate pitching from Perez and Darvish and the bottom of the lineup continuously producing and getting on base. When or if this team can ever get completely healthy they are going to give every team fits and could make a long playoff run.