One game isn’t enough to hand Hall of Fame plaques to them. But Brock Burke and Nick Solak had eventful first days in the major leagues.
Burke would have gotten his first win had it not been for the grim reaper of Ws, Jose Leclerc, who never saw a lead he couldn’t slay.
Pitcher wins don’t matter anymore to the nerdy sabermetrics crowd that is ruining baseball and turning it into nightly televised chess tournaments but they matter to pitchers. Especially a guy making his first ever major league start. Brock Burke was masterful. He got Mike Trout out three times, once on a strikeout. He deserved that W on his baseball-reference page.
He left the game with a 2-0 lead, fully in line with major league win number 1, which would have put him only 299 away from being guaranteed certain entry into Cooperstown, only to see the Rangers philanthropic bullpen donate it to an underprivileged Angels team.
All in all, he chalked up six scoreless innings with four Ks. And the Angels aren’t a team of Odors. They have some legitimate hitters in that dugout.
The plan before the day was to give Burke his first start, then send him back to Nashville. With the way he pitched, and Joe Palumbo’s performance and blister in the afternoon game, Burke should get a place in the rotation.
Nick Solak should get a place in the lineup too. But he has the misfortune of being a second baseman on a team with a second baseman locked up for four more years.
Solak made his debut in the first game, and picked up his first major league hit. He picked up his first major league home run in game two. He picked up his first major league Gatorade dump after game two by driving in the winning run in the eleventh after hitting a ball so hard that Albert Pujols couldn’t make a play on.
It’s too soon to call the Hall of Fame committee. But it’s not too soon to get excited about something to look forward to.
The Rangers have had a gaping hole at second for three years. And a gaping hole in their rotation for 48 years.
Patrick Sandoval (0-1, 5.79) vs. Mike Minor (11-7, 2.94)
Game time: 7:05