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Rangers Open Season as a One-Hit Wonder

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas Rangers dunks starting pitcher Cole Hamels #35 of the Texas Rangers with a water cooler after the Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 3-2 on Opening Day at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 4, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    Too bad Ron Washington wasn’t managing the Rangers on Opening Day. Because that, my friends, is indeed the way baseball go.

    Texas managed just one hit off Mariners’ ace Felix Hernandez – a bloop single by Prince Fielder – and still figured out a way to win, 3-2. Call it a one-hit wonder.

    How rare was Monday’s game? In their history the Rangers have played more than 7,000 games. Only two times have they won when getting one base hit, the other a 1-0 victory in Kansas City in 1993.

    In the history of baseball, the feat has been accomplished only 66 times. By contrast, there have been 292 no-hitters. Even more odd, it's only the 12th time ever that a team getting only one hit has scored 3+ runs in a win. 

    That, as the former manager liked to remind us, is the beauty of baseball. You reach base on a 4-foot dribbler and make an out on a 400-foot liner. And, yep, you can beat one of the best pitchers in the game without ever really denting him. The Rangers scored thanks to three walks, two errors and an accidental lob wedge to left field by the burly Fielder that cleared the infield dirt by all of 20 feet.

    How quirky – and wonderful – is this sport? A year ago the Rangers also managed one hit in their first game of the season. That one, though, they lost 8-0 to the A’s in Oakland.

    Surely along their six-month journey the Rangers will lose a game they were supposed to win. The ball will bounce the wrong way. Their bullpen won’t bail them out. Or they’ll have one of those nights where they get 13 hits but leave 10+ runners on base.

    But for starters, the Rangers were on the right side of a rarity.

    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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.