Two series into the freshly unwrapped season and the Rangers have lost one of series against a team that isn’t expected to compete for its division, and won the other against a team that is expected to.
They are a .500 team at 3-3.
So, what does this tell us about the 2021 Rangers?
While it’s too early to read tea leaves, there are a few early signs to notice. One, the offense is better than last year. Which might be the most obvious sentence ever written in the history of written words. Because there is pretty much no way for it to get worse.
But, the Rangers could be running the same old failures out there night after night after night that they’ve been doing since 2017, with the same outcome. At least that isn’t happening.
Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you. Fool me three and four and five times and I will stop buying tickets and jerseys and caps and your revenue will suffer and your ratings will sag and nobody will care about your team.
In some ways the Rangers got lucky with COVID. They were spared the indecency of running out last year’s team to the paying public and, with a straight face, attempting to collect revue from it. Their plans for public thievery were thwarted.
At least this year they have a team that can officially be classified as major league. Maybe lower major league, but still major league.
It’s still early. It’s really doubtful the starting pitching can hold up. Kyle Gibson is who we have seen so far this year. The guy who can’t get out of the first inning one start then the guy who seems like a legitimate starter his next start. Beware that a guy with a 4.65 career ERA and 69-74 is a guy with a 4.65 ERA and losing winning percentage for a reason.
Same with Jordan Lyles. His career 5.20 ERA and 41-60 record as a starter is not the foundation for many games like he pitched in his first start, nor for building a rotation around.
But, you take what you can get, hope there are more of those rather than fewer from both. And when they are on, take advantage of it.
The Rangers are off today. Then they are put to the test. Three against the Padres, but without Tatis hitting grand slams off them on 3-0 pitches like last year and the foolish drama that came with it. Then, off to Tampa Bay for four against the Rays, a team that came one manager’s-foolish-decision-away from winning the World Series.
If this team can go 4-3 over those next seven, or even 3-4, then they have accomplished something.
It’s a long season. At least the Rangers have done okay in the first two chunks of it.