Baseball is all about stats. Stats are really just patterns. And the early patterns this year for the Rangers are they cannot come back once they are down in a game. If they are losing, they will lose.
But they also don’t blow leads. If they are winning, they will win.
You have to take the bad with the good. There has, unfortunately, been more bad.
Of the seven games they’ve lost, the Rangers never had a lead and were not able to come from behind in any game. Not even tie. They did attempt to muster a few late-inning rallies in their two loses to Toronto. But both fell short. The hole they had to dig out of was just too deep.
Of the four games they have won, they led every one early and hung on to win. So, when the bullpen has needed to preserve a win, they have come through.
This team has flashes of playing great. But it’s just not good enough to sustain anything.
The rotation is up and down. The defense has been shoddy. The offense is hit or miss. Hitting are Choo, Andrus, Beltre, and Mazara. Missing is everyone else.
It’s early, of course, but the Rangers have yet to win two games in a row. They haven’t won a series yet, either, losing two and tying one.
This troubling pattern has happened before with Jeff Banister. In his first season at the helm of the Rangers, in 2015, his team didn’t win two games in a row until their twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth games of the year. That was the first week of May.
They started 2015 going 7-14 in April.
They started 2017 going 11-14 in April.
So this is the third of his four seasons as the Rangers manager in which his team has gotten off to a dreadful start.
That is the Jeff Banister legacy. And it’s a pattern nobody wants to see repeated.
Garrett Richards (1-0, 5.06) vs. Doug Fister (1-1, 3.12)
Game time: 7:05