The good news for the Texas Rangers is that they play 162 games in a season and not 16, as an NFL team does.
NFL teams that start a season 0-2 have just more than a 10 percent chance at reaching the playoffs.
Since 1980, 168 NFL teams have started 0-3, and only five have reached the postseason.
If breaking down the MLB schedule, three games is equivalent to the midway point of the first quarter of an NFL team’s first game.
An 0-3 NFL team has only 13 games remaining. The Rangers, 0-3 for the first time since 2007, have a mere 159 to go.
Panic? Some have. The Rangers haven’t.
Here is some Rangers Reaction from a 9-6 loss and a season-opening three-game sweep to the Cleveland Indians.
1. Not a lot to say about the closer after that one, is there?
There was this from manager Jeff Banister, regarding the early-season woes of Dyson.
“I think it’s a little early to reconsider things,” Banister said.
Maybe an off day will change Banister’s thinking, though don’t bet the farm on it. Don’t bet a buck on it. Dyson has the temperament to be a closer, notches on his belt to be a closer and the stuff to be a closer.
He just doesn’t have the stuff right now.
His devastating sinker has been devastating to the Rangers. If he can’t throw that pitch effectively, he’s in trouble.
Most likely he just needs to make a mechanical tweak, and he most likely will successfully make it.
Many out there didn’t think Dyson should have been the closer to start the season. He doesn’t strike out a ton of batters, so the more the ball is put in the play, the better the chances the other team has to erase a deficit.
But his recent track record is prevailing for now. The 38 saves he had in 2016 after replacing Shawn Tolleson, following his lousy start to the season, carry some weight with Banister. The way Dyson pitched in the World Baseball Classic (perfect over five innings) does, too.
Dyson, though, needs to get better quickly or Banister will have to make an early move at closer for the third straight season.
2. Joey Gallo had one of those games at the plate, striking out three times on mighty swings at off-speed pitches. Hey, he and the Rangers know that’s going to happen, and everyone else needs to accept.
What the Rangers also know, but perhaps not much of the viewing public, is that Gallo is an athlete at 6-foot-5 and 255 pounds. He can play third base and left field adequately because he moves around well, and he can move a better than expected on the bases.
And when all else fails, all players, at the very least, can hustle.
Just ask Lindor, the Indians’ shortstop and Wednesday hero and one of the game’s brightest young stars, about Gallo’s wheels and desire.
Above all else, including the 439-foot homer by Nomar Mazara and the 410-foot solo shot by Elvis Andrus and the early perfection by Cole Hamels, Gallo changed the course of the game because he busted his butt.
He just didn’t get rewarded as Dyson crumbled.
The Gallo play, when he beat Lindor to second base on an attempted inning-ending force play and Lindor threw wild to first base, allowed the Rangers to score three times in the fifth inning and climb out of a 3-2 hole.
Banister wasn’t in a mood to gloat about anything, but he did acknowledge that Gallo made “a great play.”
It should have won the game.
3. Hamels wasn’t at his best, just as Yu Darvish and Martin Perez weren’t Monday and Tuesday, but like his predecessors, he gave the Rangers a chance to win.
That always counts for something. It’s the No. 1 job of a starting pitcher.
So, Hamels’ start was a success despite surrendering four runs (three earned) in six innings. He walked only one, something the Rangers will gladly take from a starter, and worked out of trouble when it looked like he was running out of steam in his final inning.
Ultimately, he left the game ahead of the defending American League champions.
“You really do have to kind of give it to them,” Hamels said. “I made some good pitches, and they had some good at-bats and good hits. There’s a reason what they were able to accomplish and it’s carried over.”
The Rangers will turn to A.J. Griffin on Friday to open a three-game series against Oakland. Hamels won’t pitch again until Tuesday at Anaheim.
It’s beginning to look as if the Rangers won’t have Andrew Cashner ready by April 15, the first time they need a fifth starter. Dillon Gee, anyone? Maybe Nick Martinez?
If the Rangers’ starter can give his team a chance each night, as the Rangers’ first three starters have done, that will suffice.
Now, about that bullpen ... .
“Our bullpen is going to do a really good job this year,” Hamels said. “Unfortunately, the past three games really haven’t gone our way. I know guys are going to bounce back and really get after them.”