I think it's fair to say that the bullpen needs a bit of fine-tuning. Some thoughts:
- Cole Hamels took the mound tonight, and early on, looked very dominant, not allowing a base runner until the fourth inning. Things were looking pretty excellent.
- In that fourth inning, Francisco Lindor hit a ball to left field, where Nomar Mazara was playing tonight. Mazara -- who hit an upper-deck home run to right field in the first inning -- should have made the catch, but instead, there were men on first and second with no outs. This became important later, as Jose Ramirez, with two outs in the inning, singled in both runners, tying the game at two runs apiece.
- Cleveland plated another run in the fifth inning to briefly take the lead, but an offensive barrage gave Texas a 5-3 advantage heading into the sixth.
- The sixth was where Hamels struggled mightily tonight. He faced six hitters on 28 pitches, giving up a home run to Lindor. No matter, Texas still held a 5-4 lead as Hamels ended his night.
- Elvis Andrus hit a solid home run to left field to make it 6-4 in the bottom of the seventh. Tony Barnette had worked a scoreless top half of the seventh, and with Matt Bush and Sam Dyson waiting in the fold, a 6-4 lead felt somewhat comfortable.
- Bush did his part, working a scoreless eighth. Good job, Matt.
- Sam Dyson, however, continues to be erratic to begin the season. His five earned runs allowed in the ninth bring his ERA on the season to a whopping 72.00 (not a typo), and perhaps most concerning were the back-to-back walks to the ninth and first place hitters in the Cleveland lineup. The first loaded the bases, while the second walked in a run to bring the score to 6-5.
- Of course, the one thing you can't do is give up a grand slam, which Dyson did to Francisco Lindor. Lindor is one of the most exciting young players in the league, but I'm not sure Rangers fans will be too sad to see him go.
- 0-3 isn't ideal, and perhaps most concerning has been the inability to shut down games late, but at least there are 159 more of these to go. That might not feel like much consolation right now, but at least there's an off day tomorrow for the club to regroup.