Just imagine the language Ron Washington used in 2007 after the Texas Rangers were swept in their season-opening series in his first year as manager.
Kind of brings a smile to your face, though the horrid start the Rangers had that season led to the decision to begin a rebuild. That worked OK, didn’t it?
Ten years later the Rangers are 0-2. They can one-up the first Wash bunch by beating the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday to avoid the three-game sweep.
But to think that these Rangers will go 75-87 and be stripped down at the trade deadline for prospects and better players for 2018 seems outlandish. Especially after 2 of 162 games in which the Rangers have been competitive.
They’re just 0-2.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
1. How many people out there would take six innings and three runs allowed in every one of Martin Perez’s starts this season? Probably a pretty big number, and the Rangers would likely fare well in those games.
That’s what he did Tuesday night in his 2017 debut.
But, as is often the case, there was room for improvement within those six innings. Actually, within just one inning.
The leadoff homer to Carlos Santana didn’t even have a 100-mph exit velocity. It got into the wind and got over the wall.
The second inning, though, looked familiar, as Perez allowed three hits and a walk and two runs to put the Rangers in a 3-0 hole. Perez held serve from there, working the next four innings with the score 3-2, but the Rangers couldn’t break all the way through against the Indians’ loaded bullpen.
Perez has been called the key to the Rangers’ rotation and the key to their success. He made 32 starts last season and posted a 4.38 ERA. He was much better than that at times and worse at others, often within the same game.
He needs to iron that out to get over the hump and become the pitcher he and the Rangers believe he can be — better than six innings and three runs each and every start.
The very useful app was unable to provide the distance on Gallo’s homer. It’s the same app that measured Nomar Mazara’s May 25 blast at 491 feet, the longest in Globe Life Park history and perhaps the most disputed.
It landed below Gallo’s shot, yet Statcast finally estimated its distance at 443 feet with a 115.6 mph exit velocity.
The prodigious power is going to be there for Gallo. This won’t be the last stunner he hits. The more important point is that after two games — only two, I know — he appears to have much more of an idea at the plate than when he struggled in September.
The strikeout is going to be there for Gallo, but it’s the quality of the at-bat in which he strikes out that Rangers evaluators will consider. He struck out to end the game, the third of three straight Ks with the tying run at second base, but manager Jeff Banister said that it was a competitive at-bat.
That means good, even though the final result was an out.
Through two games, the results have been positive for Gallo.
3. Banister has been talking up Jose Leclerc for the past 10 days, and his two innings against the Indians are the reason why.
“One of the highlights of the night,” Banister said.
Leclerc made the team when Keone Kela earned a ticket to Triple A Round Rock. But Leclerc was going to be a tough decision, a tough-luck first-man out on the 25-man roster after finding a way to find the strike zone during spring training.
He has a power fastball and quality off-speed pitches, sort of like Kela. He’s young, like Kela. He wasn’t expected to make the team out of spring training, like Kela in 2015.
The manager made the Leclerc-Kela comparison a few days ago.
Leclerc has a lot to prove before he can be compared to the 2015 Kela on the mound. He needs to do it in high-leverage situations, instead of when down 4-2 in the seventh, eighth and ninth. He needs to do it in the postseason.
Maybe he will. The manager seems to think he can.