Cody Bradford showed Rangers fans why he was picked to start the second game of the season.

Well, maybe Cody Bradford is ready to be in the rotation. One game does not make a season. Yet, had he been beaten up, there would have been calls for his banishment after just one game.

But the twenty-six-year-old lefty wasn’t beaten up. On the contrary. After giving up a two-run homer to Chicago’s shortstop Dansby Swanson in the top of the second, Bradford settled down, giving the Rangers five strong innings, giving the Cuts only those two runs, walking one, striking out six, and allowing three hits. After that home run, he stifled the Cubs bats, turned it over to the Rangers bullpen, and the bullpen kept Chicago scoreless the rest of the way.

(“And the bullpen keep Chicago scoreless the rest of the way.” There’s a sentence that was never written last season.)

Bradford earned the W, and the Rangers offense exploded for eleven runs on fifteen hits. 

It’s still too early to anoint him the ace, or even hand over a role in the rotation. But he came out of the gate strong. And with the Rangers threadbare rotation, it was great to see. Because this offense is going to score. All the need is a pitcher who can keep them in the game.