The Texas Rangers highlight reel respectfully left out the images of Nolan Ryan punching Robin Ventura on Friday’s season opener. Back in 1993, Ventura stormed the mound after being hit by Ryan only to be put in a headlock and dealt some hard right hands from the Texas hurler.
There is no doubt that the new White Sox manager wanted to win his first game as manager both for his team and for his own personal pride. Unfortunately, the Sox dropped the close game 2-3 after the Rangers took the lead in the sixth and held it for the remainder of the game.
The Rangers took an early lead 2-0 thanks to the bat of Ian Kinsler. The second baseman doubled and scored off a sacrifice fly in the first inning. Kinsler homered later on in the third. Other than that, Danks was very strong in his first regular season start. He struck out six while issuing zero walks and looking very much in control.
It was the White Sox offense that truly led to this defeat. The Southsiders left seven stranding while going 0-7 overall with runners in scoring position. They managed runs on Adam Dunn’s home run and Alex Rios managing to go all the way home from first off Alexei Ramirez’ single to left.
After the sixth, it was all the Rangers as they held their one run lead to close out the victory.
It was sad to see Sox third baseman Brent Morel have such a disappointing day. Morel made up four of the Sox’ 13 strikeouts. He also committed the game’s only error on Adrien Beltre’s potential double play ball with Beltre eventually coming around to score.
Overall, situational hitting still seems to be the roughest spot for this White Sox offense. It was a problem that plagued us all last year, especially following the All-Star Break. Perhaps tomorrow’s night game will tell a different story.
A final interesting note is that with his home run, Dunn has the distinction of tying Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Robinson with eight Opening Day homers. Let us hope that his 400+ ft home run is the first of many this season.