Clayton Kershaw... Zack Greinke... Chris Sale. Over a three game stretch, how many times does a team run into a troika of aces like that?
Somehow, the Rangers navigated the gauntlet with a 2-1 record that any of us will take, no questions asked. The three TORPs combined to throw 21 sterling innings, allowing just three earned runs total (all from Kershaw) on 11 hits, walking one (Kershaw) while punching out 32 Texas bats. Aside a sub-optimal performance from baseball's best pitcher -- one where Clayton still managed 10 Ks -- the Rangers saw the best these pitchers had to offer, and still found ways to win.
Friday night's in Chicago was a microcosm of each team's season: the White Sox (28-38) -- those guys who acquired Jeff Samardzija from the A's during in the offseason, then dropped some cash in free agency on Melky Cabrera and Adam LaRoche and David Robertson -- were, behind Chris Sale's golden left arm, in control of the entire game; then, in the top-half of the 9th, the overachieving Rangers (37-31) generated a one-out rally against the aforementioned Robertson, going BB-1B-K-IBB-two-run single (the game winner coming off the bat of the suddenly-underrated Mitch Moreland). Just like that, Chicago drops its 8th consecutive game and Texas steals another victory in less than likely fashion.
Colby Lewis went 8 very strong innings, allowing 1 run (a Tyler Flowers solo HR) on 9 hits, striking out 7 and walking none. I'm not positive how the rotation is going to shake out once Matt Harrison and Martin Perez and Derek Holland get back, but I'm pretty comfortable in saying Cobra won't be going anywhere. Like so many other Rangers in 2015, Lewis has at worst performed to expectations, if not something a little more.
Tomorrow Nick Martinez looks to extend Texas's newest winning streak to a modest two. Former #3 overall pick Carlos Rondon will oppose him.