Yeah, it’s been awhile. I want to be better about this. A few notes from a Rangers win.
The Rangers employed the opener strategy tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals, this time turning to Jose Leclerc. Jose tossed a quick 1-2-3 inning, throwing eight strikes on twelve pitches with two strikeouts.
That paved the way for Adrian Sampson to come in for 5.1 innings, as he gave up two runs (one earned) while only walking one batter while allowing seven hits. For a guy that wasn’t planned to be in the rotation, you’ll pretty much take that.
The story of the night was the bottom of the 2nd inning for Texas. Joey Gallo got things started with a double to lead off the home half of the inning, and the inning continued highlighted by home runs by Rougned Odor and Shin-Soo Choo, a Willie Calhoun double, and another hit by Joey — this one a single — to score the only runs the Rangers would need all night and give them a 7-0 lead by the end of the 2nd inning.
Rougned Odor has been heating up in recent days, and now has his OPS up to .610 on the season and wRC+ up to 54. Considering the wRC+ was 10 around this time a week ago, that’s a marked improvement, and would be huge if he can continue the trend.
Willie Calhoun continues to impress in his short stint with the big club. He had a 2-for-4 night and now has an OPS of 1.438 (in an admittedly small sample). The thing with Willie has always been that there’s not a surefire place for him at either DH or in the outfield. However, given how he hit in Nashville and thus far with the Rangers, if he continues mashing the ball the way he was already projected by many to do, I can’t see a scenario in which he’s sent down.
Overall, a pretty good series opener against a really good National League club. They’ll play the second game tomorrow evening.