Rangers 3, Rays 0
- Yu Darvish is really, really good. First game of the season, coming off the d.l. without the benefit of a rehab stint, and Yu holds the Rays -- who were tied for first in the A.L. in runs scored coming into the game -- to 7 hits and a lone walk in 7 innings, allowing 0 runs and striking out 6. Yu Darvish is pretty awesome.
- Darvish is the fastest major league pitcher to 500 Ks, hitting that mark in 401.2 innings. He hit the 500 mark today, of course, which is why we are talking about this.
- This was looking uncomfortably like it could turn into one of those 1-0 losses we experienced with Yu on the mound way too often. Once the Rangers took the lead in the top of the 8th, though, the game was turned over to the bullpen, which did its job. Alexi Ogando allowed a pair of baserunners while facing four batters, but Neal Cotts bailed him out by striking out Matt Joyce on a 3-2 pitch to end the 8th. Joakim Soria, meanwhile, came into the game in the 9th and went 1-2-3 to pick up his first save since September 11, 2011.
- The Rangers couldn't touch Alex Cobb, who allowed just three hits and a walk over 7 shutout innings, and it initially looked in the 8th like the Rangers wouldn't be touching Joel Peralta, either. Peralta got two quick outs, then battled Shin-Soo Choo in a long at bat before Choo hit a ball back up the middle that Peralta was able to slow down just enough to ensure that there would be no play at first. I kept hoping that Choo would run, setting it up so that he could potentially score from second on a single, since we all know that Elvis isn't going to give you an extra base hit...and of course, Elvis knocked a 3-2 Peralta pitch out of the park for a home run and a 2-0 lead. Baseball is kind of nuts.
- The Rangers' final run, in the 9th inning, was the product of Adrian Beltre getting on base on an Evan Longoria throwing error, followed by an Alex Rios single, a Mitch Moreland GIDP, and then a Donnie Murphy run-scoring single.
- Donnie Murphy was the only hitter with more than one hit -- he picked up a pair of singles. Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre were both quiet today, combining to go 0 for 7 with a walk.
- I'll take a 3-3 record to start the season, given the injuries and the rotation situation. Colby Lewis is likely going to be activated towards the end of this week, and Matt Harrison is expected back in 17 days, which should help the rotation. A bit more life from the bats would be good, but you can't complain about where the Rangers are at this point in the game.
- Did I mention that Yu Darvish is awesome?