Rangers 11, Phillies 7
- Just as we all expected would be the case this season, the starting pitching struggled for Texas, but was bailed out by the bullpen and the bats.
- And in what has become a Rangers Opening Day tradition, the Rangers’ Opening Day starter struggled, the offense scored a lot of runs, and a team that jumped out to a big early lead ended up blowing that lead.
- Fortunately for us, this time it was the Rangers who got down early and then roared back to win.
- Jacob deGrom gave up runs on Opening Day for the first time in his career. Five of them, to be exact, which isn’t what we were all hoping for. But he also struck out seven batters while walking no one. He gave up some loud contact, but he also allowed a couple of runs in the third on a couple of triples and a double that weren’t well struck.
- What was interesting to me was Bruce Bochy shifting gears with the bullpen after the Rangers’ nine run fourth. Cole Ragans came into the game in relief of deGrom with two outs in the fourth, and word has been that Ragans, along with Dane Dunning, were in the pen to provide the Rangers with length due to deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi being somewhat limited in terms of their pitch count early on. Ragans, I imagine, would have been asked to give the Rangers innings had a sizeable deficit not been turned into a sizeable lead in the bottom of the fourth, prompting Bochy to go with what we tend to refer to as the winning pieces in the pen, pulling the plug on Ragans earlier than expected.
- Brock Burke and Jonathan Hernandez each throwing two innings, with Jose Leclerc pitching the ninth with a four run lead, maybe doesn’t happen in mid-June. In the first game of the year, though, with a fully rested pen and an off day tomorrow? Why not.
- The weak links in the Rangers’ lineup, Robbie Grossman and Brad Miller, each homered, because you can’t predict ball. Miller also homered on Opening Day last year, and of course, we know how that went, so brakes will be tapped, and we shouldn’t get too worked up over what happens on Day One.
- Everyone got a hit except for Josh Jung, who did draw a key walk in the Rangers’ big fourth inning, and the Smith/Thompson combo in the ninth spot of the lineup. That’s good.
- Jonathan Hernandez, incidentally, owes Bubba Thompson a beer after Thompson — who had pinch hit for Josh Smith in the fifth when Philly went with a lefty and then took over in center field the rest of the way — stole a home run from Jake Cave.
- Jacob deGrom hit 101 mph on his fastball, which is pretty fast, I think, and also had a 93.7 mph slider. Cole Ragans topped out at 96.3 mph on his fastball. Brock Burke touched 97.8 mph. Jonathan Hernandez’s sinker reached 99.1 mph. Jose Leclerc topped out at 94.7 mph on his fastball.
- Hardest hit ball of the night was off the bat of Corey Seager, who had a 109.1 mph single. Brad Miller’s home run was 108.0 mph off the bat, while Robbie Grossman’s home run was 99.9 mph. Miller also had a 102.3 mph ground out. Adolis Garcia had a 104.5 mph single. Josh Jung had a 101.7 mph lineout.
- Its just one game, but a win in the first game of the year is always fun, especially with an off day the day after. Let’s enjoy the first place Texas Rangers while we can.