It’s just three games. It’s just one series. It’s just the beginning of the season.
The Rangers lost at least three in a row eight times last year, including right after their opening day win. So a win tonight puts them on the exact pace they were on last year. When they won the West.
So what’s the big deal with beginning the season 0-3? The Rangers have done that three times in the past. Look what happened.
In 2007, the Rangers started the season 0-3. They ended up with 75 wins, and a last-place finish. Same in 2002. A last place finish with 72 wins. Same in 1973. They lost 105 games that year and finished in last.
They have actually had two worse winless starts.
In 1991, the Rangers started 0-4, ended up winning 85 games and finishing third in a seven-team division. Then there was 1985. An 0-5 start, 62 wins, 99 losses, another last-place finish.
It’s just three games. It’s just one series. It’s just the beginning of the season. But every time this franchise has had this sort of start, its finishes haven’t been anything to write home about. Four last-place finishes out of five.
A few other forgettable starts: 1987, a 1-10 start led to an inglorious sixth-place (out of seven) finish. 2005, a 1-4 start, a third-place (out of four) finish. 2006, a 2-7 start was the beginning of another last-place finish.
Are they doomed to repeat history? Well, of course not. But history hasn’t been kind to the Rangers when they’ve been at this point. (Or, really, any other point, if you think about it.)
On the flipside, in the seven years the Rangers have made the playoffs, they had these starts:
And in their wild card season of 2012 they started 12-2.
But the clearest way to look at their 0-3 start is this. It’s the same as their 0-3 finish in the playoffs last year: They simply got beat by a better team.
The fact is the Cleveland Indians are better than the Texas Rangers in every aspect of the game.
Their starting staff is deep, more accomplished and proven. Their bullpen is legit. Andrew Miller and Cody Allen are the man versions of Matt Bush and Sam Dyson.
Their offense that was so amazing last season is better this season with the addition of Edwin Encarnacion, who didn’t have the greatest series but still found a home run to plunge into the Rangers’ heart. Their defense is better as well. And their manager sees our manager’s two division titles and raises it two World Series titles.
So, look at it this way, if this were the middle of April, the middle of the season or the middle of September, the best team in the American League swept the Rangers. It happens. And if they somehow meet in the playoffs, don’t be surprised if it happens again.
Just hope their 0-3 history doesn’t happen again.
Raul Alcantara (1-3, 7.25) vs. A. J. Griffin (7-4, 5-07)
Game time: 7:05