That was, overall, a pretty fun game. With the 3-1 victory, the Rangers currently find themselves only a half-game back of 1st place in the AL West. How's that for parity? Some thoughts:
- The Rangers struck first in the top of the 1st inning as Leonys Martin worked a 6-pitch walk. Two batters later, Prince Fielder hammered a ground ball up the left field line for an RBI double. The Rangers never looked back.
- Robinson Chirinos led of the 5th inning with a home run, making it a 2-0 game.
- Yovani Gallardo had another solid outing, going 6.0 innings while allowing 6 hits, 2 walks, and no runs. After a rough first start against Oakland, Gallardo has been solid has last two times out on the hill.
- Tanner Scheppers made his season debut, and wasn't particularly sharp. Fortunately, he got through the 8th inning while only allowing 1 run.
- Speaking of the 8th inning, after plating a run and a Robinson Cano single, Nelson Cruz came to the plate to face Tanner Scheppers representing the go-ahead run. He got several middle-middle pitches, and the one he took a swing at had many Rangers fans scared for a moment. Instead of a home run, it ended up being a deep fly ball to Carlos Peguero, and we all collectively exhaled.
- Adam Rosales drove in an important insurance run in the top of the 9th inning with a shot that caromed off of 3rd base and high into the air, allowing Robinson Chirinos to score.
- Neftali Feliz came in and closed the game out. The only moment of panic was a ball that Shin-Soo Choo had to pull back from over the wall to rob the Mariners of a would-be home run.
- I want to take a moment to talk about Prince Fielder. No, he hasn't hit a home run yet, but he's easily been the most impressive player the Rangers have had thus far. After another 2-hit night with a walk, he has a .419 average with an OPS of .967. He's a completely different guy that what we saw last season, and is driving the ball to all fields, even if it isn't quite clearing the fences just yet. It's nice to see him taking what the pitching and the fielding alignments give him, and I have a feeling he's going to be really exciting to watch for the remainder of the 2015 season.