Game 3: Rangers 7 Yanks 3
ARLINGTON — The Robbie Ross Magical Mystery Tour continues and so does the Rangers’ great start. Ross keeps winning games, the Rangers keep winning series and manager Ron Washington said the goal is just to be the best possible team that it can be on that particular night.
The Rangers were that on Wednesday night even though they had to pitch the game “out of the bullpen,” and five relievers, including spot starter Scott Feldman, combined to get it done in a 7-3 victory over the Yankees at the Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers, in taking two of three over the Yankees, have won six straight series to open the season for the first time in club history. “That’s exactly our mindset, winning series” third baseman Adrian Beltre said after going 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs. “We’ve played some tough teams lately, nine games against Boston, Detroit and New York. To win those series is a good sign because it was a tough test. Hopefully we can keep it going.” The Rangers have also won 12 straight regular-season series going back to last year. They haven’t lost a three-game series at the Ballpark since July 1-3 against the Marlins last season. “We’re doing everything well,” Washington said. “We’re swinging the bats, playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played, pitching well, running the bases, playing defense. We’re playing a complete game. We’re just playing the best game we can possibly play that night. If you do that you’ll have fun, and we’re having a lot of fun right now.” Nobody is having more fun than Ross, the rookie left-hander who was a long shot to make the team in Spring Training. Now he is the only four-game winner in the American League after retiring eight straight hitters in relief on Wednesday night. He is also the first Major League pitcher since 1918 to get four victories in his first six Major League appearances. “I don’t know what’s going on,” Ross said. “It’s weird for me. It’s a lot of fun, I’m just enjoying it.” Ross was the second of five pitchers used. Feldman, who is primarily a long/middle reliever, started the game because the Rangers were rained out on Friday, forced to play a doubleheader on Saturday and did not want to pitch Matt Harrison on three days’ rest on Wednesday. That’s what necessitated what is known as a “bullpen” game, although that might be misleading considering that Feldman won 17 games in 2009, was the Opening Day starter in 2010 and pitched as well as anybody in Spring Training. “We didn’t look at it as a bullpen game,” designated hitter Michael Young said. “Scott Feldman is a legitimate big league starter and a huge part of our team.” Yankees manager Joe Girardi didn’t necessarily see facing the Rangers’ bullpen as a particular advantage either. “Sometimes that can be difficult because you don’t see the same guy twice very often,” Girardi said. “You get a different look every at-bat. Sometimes that can be harder.” Particularly against a bullpen that everybody was worried about in Spring Training but now has a 2.06 ERA after 19 games……Read More
Box Score and Highlights:
The Texas Rangers have a great team and look like they will be the team to beat, especially because they now have the experience. The Yanks would have to play on all cylinders to get pass them. I know it’s early but another two month of baseball like this from Texas and the division will be theirs. They are a very impressive team with no holes to fill.
Game 2: Texas 2 Yanks 0
ARLINGTON — The sellout crowd was electrified almost from the beginning and gave Yu Darvish a prolonged standing ovation when he walked off the field in the ninth. His teammates were impressed, his manager was thrilled and Darvish even tipped his cap this time.
“Awesome,” manager Ron Washington said after Darvish pitched the Rangers to a 2-0 victory over the Yankees before 47,085 fans at Rangers Ballpark on a warm Tuesday evening. “Very impressive,” second baseman Ian Kinsler said.
“You can’t ask a whole lot more than that,” outfielder David Murphy said. “Tonight was about as good as you could do.”
Perhaps. Or perhaps not. “It’s a very nice outing, pitching against the Yankees and a performance like that,” Darvish said. “They’ve never seen me before, so I look at it like we’ll see as the season goes along. I’d like to think there is more in me.” This was sufficient for the Rangers on a night when Darvish pitched against countryman Hiroki Kuroda in a game that was broadcast live back in Japan. Darvish went 8 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and two walks while striking out 10. Darvish had a chance to finish the shutout, but Washington pulled him after a one-out single by Nick Swisher in the ninth. Closer Joe Nathan needed just one pitch to get Raul Ibanez to hit into a game-ending double play, and Darvish is now 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA after four starts. “Stuff-wise, there is not much difference, but my command is getting better,” said Darvish, who featured a particularly devastating breaking ball and changeup, especially against the Yankees’ left-handed hitters. “He’s getting better every time he gets the ball,” Washington said. “Every time he gets the ball, he gets more comfortable. He’s starting to trust his catchers, they’re trusting him and they’re getting in sync. I expect the same going forward.” Two things stood out about Darvish on Tuesday night. One is that he held the Yankees to 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, including the third inning, when they loaded the bases with no outs. Opponents are 3-for-21 with runners in scoring position against Darvish in his last three starts. “I thought he just did a great job,” Yankees catcher Russell Martin said. “He didn’t make too many mistakes in the zone. … He just located his pitches well. He kept us off balance and didn’t really make any mistakes. “We all ask each other, ‘What was that pitch?’ ‘How is his ball moving?’ ‘What is his fastball doing?’ When guys are executing pitches and not really giving you anything to drive, there’s not much you can do.”…Read More
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