It’s funny how baseball works at times. Superstitions can get to players. Playing in daylight affects others. Some players even have difficulties playing in certain parks. Take Yu Darvish at Safeco Field for example. But sometimes it’s not just an individual. It’s a team as a whole. If there are two parks that I really hate seeing Texas in it’s Comerica Park in Detroit and Target Field in Minnesota. There’s something about those parks that cause the Rangers problems. You could say that they’re both pitchers’ ballparks and thus not conducive to our offense. Or it could just be a matter of head games. You struggle somewhere and you just can’t shake it. The Rangers cannot shake Target Field.
Since 2010 the Rangers are 6-11 in Minnesota. You could say that it’s a case of home field advantage, after all the Twins were 53-28 at home in 2010 with Texas going 0-6 as the visiting team. That was the last time that Minnesota was good at home. They finished 33-48 at home in 2011 with Texas finishing 1-3. The Twins home record was even worse in 2012 as they finished 31-50 with a miraculous three-game sweep by the Rangers.
Texas finished the most recent series with a true split winning the first two and losing the last two. The last two were both day games. This is also the only time that Texas travels to Minnesota this season so it’s a good thing to get it done with early.
As for the games themselves it was all a matter of run support and/or great starting pitching, mostly the starting pitching. Texas won the first game 2-1 behind another stellar outing from Nick Tepesch. Justin Grimm tossed the best game of his young career the next day in a 4-3 win. Then the day games came and the bats fell silent. Both Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando delivered quality starts but the bullpen couldn’t hold and the offense remained cold as Texas dropped the final two games 7-2 and 5-0 respectively.
Now Texas can get out of there and enjoy a much needed day off before starting a series at home against the Chicago White Sox with Yu Darvish set to start on Tuesday. He’s just what the Rangers need if they’re going to stop their first losing streak of the season at two games.
Oh, and Comerica Park? Texas doesn’t play there until mid-June. Just three games. The only three games in Detroit this season and that’s a good thing.
Until next time, I’ll see you in the cheap seats!
James Holland is a lifelong fan of baseball and his hometown Texas Rangers. He is also a senior columnist for shutdowninning.com, clawandantlernation.com and can be found on Twitter @SDIJamesHolland.