One of the more interesting matchups the first week of the season was the Indians vs the Rangers. 2 teams that can slug the ball but 2 teams that have high aspirations heading into 2009. And boy, did the Rangers make a statement.
The Rangers swept and outslugged the Indians, a team many predicted to win the AL Central 29-14 in the 3 game series. They hit .346 with 7 HR’s, a rediculous OPS of 1.059 and were led by Ian Kinsler (.500/1/6, 13 total bases) and Nelson Cruz (.364/2/4, 10 total bases). The Rangers also made Cliff Lee, Fausto Carmona and Carl Pavano look like minor league pitchers. Heck, things were going so well over the 3 game series that even Andruw Jones went 3 for 5 one game.
We all know the Rangers can hit. There lineup is one of the best in baseball. It will be up to their pitching staff to hold up their end of the bargain. In the 3 game series against the Indians, the Rangers got solid solid starts from Kevin Millwood and Brandon McCarthy. I know McCarty only went 5 innings and threw 105 pitches but that is better than what most Rangers starters do. McCarthy is the real wild card of the pitching staff. It seems McCarthy has been around forever (like Kyle Davies) but he is only 25 years old (also like Davies). If he can give the Rangers innings, quality starts and finally realize his potential, the boys of Texas will be in line to challenge the injury and emotionally riddled Angels.