HOUSTON, TX - MAY 12: Joakim Soria #28 of the Texas Rangers celebrates with Robinson Chirinos after the final out against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on May 12, 2014 in Houston, Texas. Texas Rangers won 4-0. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
All or nothing.
It’s an exciting – yet dangerous – way to live your life. And an improbable strategy to play a baseball season.
But for the Rangers, it’s working. As in, the best way to beat the opponent is to shut them out. After all, a baseball team has never won a game without scoring a run.
The Rangers did it again last night, recording their Major League-leading ninth shutout of the season in a 4-0 win over the Astros. That’s right, I said ninth. Texas has 20 wins, which means that 45 percent of their victories have come via shutout.
Even wackier, the Rangers’ last three wins – over the Rockies, Red Sox and Houston – have been by shutout and in three of their last five games the opposition has failed to score.
To put that in perspective, the Astros don’t yet have a shutout win. Neither do the White Sox or Red Sox. And the Rangers have only been shut out offensively one time this season.
In four games against Houston this season, the Rangers have only scored 11 runs. But they’re 3-1 because they’ve only allowed six, and those all came in one game. Yep, Texas has shut out Houston three times by May 12, including last night’s 4-0 victory authored by Colby Lewis.
The Astros had base-runners in every inning, but Lewis wiggled out of trouble with a nasty slider. Rougned Odor provided the offense with a mammoth, upper-deck homer and the Rangers again beat up on their intra-state rivals.
It’s been a quirky early season for the Rangers with all the injuries. But weirdest of all is how a patchwork pitching staff that ranks 12th in the AL with a 4.57 ERA is also on record-pace with nine shutouts.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.