MLB recap: Rangers and Dodgers get off to fast start
Baseball’s opening weekend was nothing but exciting. Now that the first full week of America’s pastime has been completed, we got a glimpse of what the future holds for the 2012 season.
The highly talked about right handed pitcher Yu Darvish made his major league debut for the Texas Rangers on Monday against the Seattle Mariners. He started off shaky, giving up four runs in the first inning, but after that he settled down retiring 10 batters in a row going into the sixth inning. The Rangers’ power-filled offense bailed out the starter with home runs by Nelson Cruz, Mitch Moreland, Josh Hamilton, and Ian Kinsler.
“Mentally, I was very calm, but my body felt like it wanted to go and go and go,” Darvish said through his translator. “At the beginning of the game, my mind and my body kind of weren’t on the same page.”
The Rangers have picked up where they left off last season, playing with a chip on their shoulder, starting off the season with an 8-2 record. Ian Kinsler, who just signed a monster contract worth $75 million over five years starting next season, proved this week he is worth the money with four home runs and 11 runs scored to start off the year. Texas has a complete lineup with dominant pitching ready to put a hurting on any team that gets in their way.
The Boston Red Sox started out of the box slow for new manager Bobby Valentine. The pitching struggling, offense pretty much non-existent for the first two series, and Valentine not confident in himself and not knowing his staff have made the fans of Boston panic. It really showed in the second game of the Toronto series when the manager didn’t pull reliever Justin Thomas in a key situation to keep them in the game.
“I should have brought in Albers with the bases loaded. It might have been still a 3-1 game,” Valentine said. “We get a great ground ball there and maybe we would have won that game.”
With star outfield Jacoby Ellsbury out with a shoulder injury, the Sox will have to dig deep to salvage a rough start to the 2012 season. David Ortiz is carrying a hot bat and that could spark a team that is one game below .500.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are starting off the season as the hottest team in the Majors with a 9-1 record. NL MVP runner up Matt Kemp is the hottest hitter in the league and is boosting a team that fell apart last season and has gone under new ownership to a great start. On Sunday’s match against the Padres, Kemp kept the surging Dodgers going with a two home run day, backing a solid start for lefty Ted Lilly.
“Nothing really surprises me about him anymore. He put two good swings on those pitches,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Kemp.
There is obviously plenty of baseball left. The contending teams from last year (Angels, Yankees, Phillies, Braves, and the Red Sox) are starting off slow and have yet found their identity for the 2012 season. They all have shown us glimpses of what they could be or what we hope they could be. But for you fans, you should not worry, none of these teams will disappoint as the season continues. And remember, we are only 10 games in with 152 games remaining.