Rangers AM News: Cole Hamels Eyes 2-0 In ALDS


The Texas Rangers send staff ace Cole Hamels to the mound against the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 2 of the ALDS at Rogers Centre.

The Texas Rangers were considered, by and large, to be mere sacrificial lambs for the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Division Series.

But then came Game 1.

On Thursday night Texas came away with an early win, despite the presence of Blue Jays ace David Price in the series opener. The 5-3 victory sets the stage for a potential 2-0 lead for Texas before the series shifts to Globe Life Park in Arlington on Sunday for Game 3.

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Another story line developing is the status of Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, who apparently strained his back when sliding into second base to break up a double play. It’s looking like reinforcements are on the way in the event Beltre is out of action for an extended period.

Losing a key right-handed hitter certainly hurts the Rangers batting order, but having Cole Hamels on the mound for Game 2 offers the potential to negate any loss of offense Texas might sustain without Beltre.

Then again, maybe the primary sources of offense in the opener are just getting started.

Second baseman Rougned Odor and catcher Robinson Chirinos hit the only two long balls for a Rangers that offense that wasn’t exactly dominant against the Blue Jays, but it was consistent in terms of keeping pressure on it’s opponent. Interesting is the fact that the Rangers were victorious despite virtually nothing from their big bats.

Left fielder Josh Hamilton and designated hitter Prince Fielder were both 0-4 on the night while Mike Napoli, who got the start at first base, went 0-3 but did add a walk. First baseman Mitch Moreland entered the game late, but never reached the plate.

Chances are good that the Rangers will get some contact from their power-hitters sooner than later, and that could certainly begin in the next few hours.

Rangers News From Around The Web

ALDS Game 2 Matchup: Hamels Faces Resurgent Stroman (Star-Telegram – Stefan Stevenson)

Quotes from Hamels regarding how he approaches batters on both sides of the plate following his complete-game victory to clinch the AL West in the regular season finale. Stevenson also highlights the chore Texas faces in just its second shot at Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman.

Rangers Scouting Report: Toronto Hitter Hamels Hates To Face ( Dallas morning News – Gerry Fraley)

Even ace pitchers have their proverbial Achilles heel. Fraley breaks down the Blue Jays hitter that’s had the most success against Hamels. Which hitter might the red-hot Hamels like to face the most? Also find out the same dimensions for Stroman in what could be the most pivotal game in the series.

Martin Perez To Start Game 3 Against Toronto (SB Nation – Adam J. Morris)

In what’s turned out to be a surprising move, Rangers manager Jeff Bannister has announced that left-handed pitcher Martin Perez will get the start in Game 3 of the ALDS in Arlington. Morris discusses the thought process behind this move and exactly why starters Colby Lewis and Derek Holland weren’t given the nod.

Pete Rose Questions Blue Jays’ Game 1 Injuries (CBS Sports – Dayn Perry)

Exiled Pete Rose comments on two key injuries sustained by Toronto in Game 1 of the ALDS. Sluggers Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista left the game for differing injuries, which Rose calls into question given the importance of participation in the postseason.

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