Drew Smyly hadn’t been in a major league game since September 26 of 2016. So, he could be forgiven if it took him a batter to get his sea legs back underneath him.
And he could be forgiven if he wasn’t particularly efficient. Seventy-three pitches in three-plus innings.
He didn’t last long in last night’s game. But he had, by far, the best start of the young season for the Rangers. That’s not really saying much, though. It’s like comparing the speed of the contestants in a snail race.
Coming into last night’s game the Rangers were in all too familiar territory. Last in all of baseball in team ERA at 9.33. Twenty-ninth out of thirty teams in starter ERA at 10.67.
Yet, they were 2-1. Go figure.
So, the fact that Smyly left with just one earned run on his ledger was remarkable. And the fact that Adrian Sampson saved the bullpen with six strong innings was even more so.
But, just as baseball always goes, when you finally get a well-pitched game, you have no offense. The Rangers lost 2-1.
After just four games there are still a lot of questions. Which Rangers team is the real one? How good is this offense, really? How bad is this pitching staff, really?
And why can’t the Rangers play the Cubs every night?
Justin Verlander (1-0, 1.29) vs. Shelby Miller (0-0, -.–)
Game time: 7:05