The Rangers Are 1-2

2 out of 3 to start the season is fun. 1 out of 3? Not quite as fun.

  • Colby Lewis took the mound today, and early on, it didn't look like he would last more than 3 innings. He gave up a walk to Kyle Seager followed by a Robinson Cano home run in the 1st inning. Then in the 2nd, he gave up a solo shot to Leonys Martin. Through 2 innings, he was at 49 pitches, so a lengthy outing didn't seem to be in the cards. Alas, Colby got things under control and ended up finishing 6 innings. 6 innings with 3 runs given up by a guy who should eventually be the 5th starter when Yu Darvish comes back? I'll take it every time.
  • The offense got on track a bit today, and the results showed. Choo, Odor, and Beltre all got their first hits. Ian Desmond took one to the opposite field. Even Justin Ruggiano and Ryan Rua contributed to the day.
  • Of course, we can't leave out Prince Fielder, but he deserved his own bullet point. Fielder turned a hanging slider around for a no-doubt upper deck 3-run home run that gave the Rangers a 5-3 lead. The swing looked a lot more like the Prince Fielder from his Milwaukee days than I remember seeing at any point in 2015.
  • Bryan Holaday got that start at catcher today, and threw out two would-be base stealers. In both instances, the situation dictated an advantage to the runner. In both, it seemed as if the runners would be easily safe. So, that was neat.
  • Ian Desmond started in center field today. So much for the, "He's our left fielder, and only our left fielder." I didn't figure that would last long, and sure enough, the stage appears to be set for Desmond to maybe play the position more often when Josh Hamilton returns. We'll more likely see it on days in which right-handed pitchers are starting to get Hamilton in left field, but I think that's probably the general idea.
  • Speaking of Desmond's day in center field, he had a ball he tracked down in right center field. As he called for it, Shin-Soo Choo nearly collided with him. After making the catch, Desmond looked none too pleased with Choo as he shook his head in displeasure. Delino DeShields and Choo had a similar play last night; one in which DeShields seemed to call for the ball, but Choo never backed off. It's a minor problem, but it's one that needs to be addressed before it turns into a botched play, or worse, an injury.
  • Keone Kela came in to work the 7th inning. He struggled a bit, and ended up loading the bases with 2 outs in the inning. Surprisingly, Jake Diekman was warmed up and ready to go after pitching in both of the first two games of the season. Diekman ended up walking Robinson Cano, which allowed a run to cross the plate and make it 5-4. With Nelson Cruz due up, Jeff Banister turned to Sam Dyson, who induced a one-pitch out on a shallow fly ball to center field, holding the lead at 5-4.
  • Sam Dyson came back out for the 8th inning. He had some initial trouble finding the strike zone, walking Seth Smith -- the number 6 hitter in the Mariners lineup -- on 4 pitches. He ended up inducing a double-play grounder from Luis Sardinas to end the inning, which turned the ball over to closer Shawn Tolleson for the bottom of the 9th inning.
  • Tolleson took the hill for the 9th inning and gave us the first blown save of the season. Then, who gave the Mariners the lead? Why, Kyle Seager, of course. Tolleson then gave up a home run to Robinson Cano, giving the Mariners a 9-5 lead they wouldn't relinquish.
  • The bullpen, a supposed strength coming into the season, hasn't performed up to par as of yet. Part of that, in my opinion, is related to bullpen management. I've been blasted a bit for saying so on Twitter, but I'm far from the only writer to have this opinion. No, it's not the only issue, but it's at least one issue. Giving up 5+ runs in an inning two days in a row is never good, no matter how you slice it.
  • As a point of emphasis, and to reiterate something I mentioned on Twitter during the game, when you walk the number 6 hitter in the lineup 3 times, you pretty much deserve whatever you get. Command has been an issue thus far for the Rangers pitching staff -- a staff that has given up 13 walks in 3 games. 10 of those walks have been issued by the starting pitchers. Interestingly, the walks by starters actually haven't hurt the Rangers much thus far, but it's an area that needs improvement.