Tanner Scheppers and Robbie Ross make their debuts
I wasn’t a fan of the Texas Rangers bringing Tanner Scheppers or Robbie Ross into the rotation from the very beginning. I was of the opinion that it weakened a bullpen that couldn’t afford to be weakened, especially after losing Joe Nathan to free agency and Neftali Feliz to the minor leagues and who knows if he’s going to be able to return to the big leagues.
But I won’t bash either guy for their starts on Monday and Wednesday, respectively, and I’m certainly not going to say this is what we’re going to see for the remainder of the season.
Not only is that not fair to either Scheppers or Ross, but it would be premature to judge them based on one start in what will be a long season for both pitchers.
When you are given the ball on Opening Day and you’re told that you are going to make your starting debut, I couldn’t imagine the jitters and the nerves that go through a first time starter in one of the biggest games of the regular season.
Your heart is going more than 100 miles per hour, you’re sweating in places you didn’t know you had, your hands are shaking, you’re rushing your delivery of each pitch, the noises are louder than you remember, and you’re having a hard time seeing the catcher’s glove or focusing on anything at all.
Chalk up Scheppers’ bad start to just a bad day. Heck, the Rangers’ offense lit up veteran pitcher Cliff Lee to the tune of eight runs, so even the guy who’s been around awhile had a bad day.
I want to see how he gets back on the mound and how he fares in start number two. Will he be more relaxed? Will he trust his stuff? Will we see the dominate guy we’ve seen so many times out of the bullpen?
As for Ross, it wasn’t a great start for him on Wednesday night, but what I will say is he kept his team in the game. He kept them close enough to allow the offense to try and get some runs on the board. While the game and the decision was out of his hand when the offense finally did come around in the ninth inning, Ross kept it close enough to be able to come from behind for the second straight night.
Good news on the injury front
The best news Rangers fans have heard since the end of spring training is the return of their best starter, Yu Darvish, to the starting rotation. Darvish will make his 2014 debut on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Other good news? Derek Holland, on with 105.3 FM The Fan’s Ben and Skin Show on Wednesday afternoon, says he’s set a target return date of June 1st. He threw his first bullpen earlier in the day and reported no residual pain which should be the best news of all, especially when he’s able to throw off the mound.
Mustangs are one win away from NIT title
SMU will walk into Madison Square Garden one more time on Thursday night and they’ll take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers. To the winner go the spoils and the NIT championship trophy.
The Mustangs believed they should have been in the NCAA Tournament and they believed they were left out. When the NIT began, they had a lot to prove to show the doubters that they belong, regardless how little people care about this specific tournament.
A win tonight would be a big notch in the belt of head coach Larry Brown as well as his players. While it’s not “March Madness” and it’s not the national championship trophy, it would still be a huge victory for the basketball program and a big time win for recruiting, which would further their chance of getting into the round of 64 in 2015. Not only that, the team would be much more equipped for a deep run in March in that specific tournament they were left out of in 2014.
Dallas Mavericks and missed opportunties
The Dallas Mavericks have a four-game road trip staring them in the face after having split an eight-game home stand. They could have used a win in a few of those, especially losing one of them in overtime in a game the Mavericks should have won.
If they miss the playoffs, they might look back at these last eight games and see the missed opportunities that kept them out of the postseason. How important will the next four games be? Can they get out of this stretch winning three of four, or will those same missed opportunities come back to bite them one more time?
Fun sports weekend in Dallas/Ft Worth
If you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, especially if you’re into NASCAR, head out to Texas Motor Speedway for the Duck Commander 500. Should be a fun race and the weather, hopefully, could make it a really nice day to watch some racing.
Kyle Busch returns to TMS to not only defend his 2013 Duck Commander 500 victory at TMS, but also the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 race which he also won after leading 91 of the 200 laps. Will we have a new champion in either race or will Busch out run everyone else again this year?
If NASCAR isn’t your thing, the NCAA Tournament comes to AT&T Stadium this weekend with the Final Four, which will lead to the national championship game on Monday night. Even if you’re not a Wisconsin Badger, Kentucky Wildcat, UConn Husky, or Florida Gator fan, this Final Four is shaping up to be one of the best we’ve seen in recent years.
Wherever you go this weekend, you have plenty to choose from.