Texas Rangers Take Opening Series Against Chicago Cubs

Texas Rangers Take Opening Series Against Chicago Cubs
Texas Rangers Fans Only Aaron Jackson Hendon

The Texas Rangers and the Chicago Cubs kicked off the 2024 Major League Baseball season on Thursday, March 28th, 2024, in Arlington, Texas. Globe Life Field was abuzz with excitement as the defending World Series Champions unveiled the World Series banner for the first time just before Thursday’s game. On Saturday, the champions received their gorgeous championship rings in a ceremony prior to the game. The roof of Globe Life Field was closed for all three games of the series.

Game One

Game one began quietly, with both teams fielding their aces. Nathan Eovaldi took the mound for the defending champions while the Cubs offered up Justin Steele. The Cubs struck first with a triple by Christopher Morel and a subsequent sacrifice fly by Dansby Swanson in the top of the 2nd inning. The Texas Rangers answered in the bottom of the 4th inning with a Josh Jung double, an Adolis Garcia single to move him to 3rd, and then a sacrifice fly for Wyatt Langford that drove Jung across the plate (Langford’s first Major League RBI).

Tragedy struck the Cubs lineup at the bottom of the 5th when pitcher Justin Steele went down with an apparent hamstring injury while making a play. He was walked off the field by the club’s trainers, and the Cubs called on Julian Merryweather to replace him. Two doubles by Seiya Suzuki and Cody Bellinger drove the score to 2-1. Another pitching change came in the bottom of the 6th when Yency Almonte replaced Merryweather. Adolis Garcia homered with one out in the bottom of the 6th to bring the score back even once again. Wyatt Langford recorded his first Major League single following Garcia’s home run. Almonte was replaced by Mark Leiter Jr. following the Langford single to record the final two outs of the inning.

The Rangers sent Josh Sborz to the mound at the top of the 7th, and despite giving up a single to Michael Busch and a ground-rule double to Nick Madrigal, he escaped the inning without giving up a run. The bottom of the 7th was a quick 1-2-3 inning for Leiter Jr. Kirby Yates relieved Sborz for his Rangers debut and produced another quick 1-2-3 in the top of the 8th. Hector Neris faced the Rangers for the first time since the American League Championship Series last October. Corey Seager singled but was thrown out at 2nd on a Josh Jung force-out. A throwing error allowed Jung to reach 2nd. Wyatt Langford was shown a great deal of respect by the Cubs as they intentionally walked him in his fourth Major League at-bat.

The fun began in the 9th inning when a foul ball was called a fair ball by the home plate umpire. Catcher Jonah Heim argued that the ball was foul tipped and Michael Busch took advantage of the situation and took home driving the score to 3-2. The Rangers immediately answered in the bottom of the 9th with Travis Jankowski’s first home run of the season. David Robertson took the top of the 10th inning with Miles Mastrobuoni the zombie runner at 2nd base. Robertson escapes the inning despite walking Ian Happ and Cody Bellinger. The Cubs sent out Drew Smyly to the mound with Marcus Semien as the zombie runner. A Corey Seager ground out advanced Semien to 3rd, followed by a walk for Josh Jung and Adolis Garcia. On the Langford groundball, Semien was thrown out at home. Jonah Heim got his retribution for the call in the top of the 9th with a walk-off single to score Josh Jung to end the game with the score of 4-3 Rangers.

Game Two

Game two began much the same way as game one with a quick 1-2-3 first inning for both squads. The Cubs struck first with a Dansby Swanson two-run home run in the top of the 2nd inning off Rangers pitcher Cody Bradford. In the bottom of the 2nd inning, Wyatt Langford recorded his second Major League single, followed by Jared Walsh’s first home run of the season. The Cubs went quietly in order in the top of the 3rd. In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Corey Seager singled and then was thrown out on an botched double play after an Evan Carter force out, allowing Carter to reach 1st. Adolis Garcia followed with a two-run home run of his own. Josh Jung singled, and then Wyatt Langford ground into a double play to end the inning. The 4th inning went much the same as the 3rd for the Cubs with a pop out, a walk, and a double play to end the inning. The Rangers cranked out a double, a walk, and a single to drive in the fifth run of the game, forcing the Cubs to send Jose Cuas to replace starter Kyle Hendricks.

The 5th was a quick 1-2-3 inning for both clubs. Josh Sborz entered the game in the top of the 6th to replace starter Cody Bradford, making quick work of the three Cubs batters he faced. The Cubs sent a new man to the mound as well, Luke Little relieving Jose Cuas. Despite giving up a double to Leody Taveras, Cuas escaped the inning unscathed. David Robertson took the mound in the top of the 7th for the Rangers, making quick work of the Cubs despite giving up a single to Christopher Morel. Ben Brown replaced Luke Little for the Cubs. Brown walked Evan Carter, followed by an Adolis Garcia force out. While the Cubs threw out Carter, they were unable to complete the double play, allowing Garcia to reach 1st. Garcia then stole 2nd base, and on a wild pitch stole 3rd, but ultimately did not find his way home.

Kirby Yates gave up a single to Garrett Cooper, but retired the following three Cubs he faced in the top of the 8th inning. The Rangers broke it open in the bottom of the 8th with a Walsh single, a Heim double, a Taveras walk, a Semien single to score Walsh, a Seager single to score Heim, a Carter ground out to score Taveras, a Garcia sacrifice fly to score Semien, and Josh Jung wraps up the exciting inning with a two-run home run, bringing the score to 11-2 Rangers. The Cubs sent Yency Almonte to face Wyatt Langford, recording his third single of his career. The 9th inning ended much the same way the game began, quietly, with a strikeout, a walk, and a ground into a double play.

Game Three

In the first day game of the season, the Cubs and Rangers faced off in the final game of the series. The Rangers sent Jon Gray to the mound while the Cubs sent Jordan Wicks. Game two seemed to have awoken the Cubs who came right out of the gate in the 1st inning with a Seiya Suzuki single, a Cody Bellinger walk, and a three-run home run by Christopher Morel. In the bottom of the 1st, despite Wyatt Langford recording his second career walk, the inning went quietly. The top of the 2nd featured a single by both Miguel Amaya and Ian Happ, but neither crossed home plate. Andrew Knizner reached 2nd on a throwing error by Morel. Knizner reached 3rd on a ground out by Walsh. Wicks walked Evan Carter and Leody Taveras back to back, followed by a single by Marcus Semien, sending Knizner and Carter across home plate to bring the score to 3-2 Cubs.

The 3rd inning went quietly for both clubs despite the double by Swanson for the Cubs and the single by Duran for the Rangers. Gray gave up a walk, a single, and a double to drive the score to 5-2 Cubs in the top of the 4th inning. With one out remaining in the top of the 4th the Rangers sent out young Jose Urena to replace the flagging Jon Gray. In the bottom of the 4th, Wicks gave up a single to Jared Walsh, followed by a fielders’ choice by Evan Carter, allowing Walsh to reach 3rd on an error. Marcus Semien’s double sent Walsh home and Carter to 3rd. Wyatt Langford followed suite with a triple of his own, sending Carter and Semien home to tie the game. Both clubs went scoreless through the next four innings before Rangers closer Jose LeClerc gave up the go-ahead run in the top of the 9th when he walked Ian Happ with the bases loaded. The Cubs broke open the game when Jacob Latz gave up a single to Seiya Suzuki, allowing Mike Tauchman and Miles Mastrobuoni to score, followed by a Cody Bellinger single to drive in Happ for a final score of 9-5 Cubs.


Despite dropping the final game of the series, the defending Champions take the series win. The Rangers headed to Florida to face the Tampa Bay Rays while the Cubs headed home to face the Colorado Rockies in their home opener. The clubs left Arlington with a 2-1 and 1-2 record respectively. We also want to wish the Cubs’ injured pitcher, Justin Steele, a speedy recovery, and we hope to see him back on the field very soon.

Jamie Lawless

A lifelong Texas Rangers fan living in Birdland. Covering the 2023 World Series Champion Texas Rangers & the 2023 American League East Champion Baltimore Orioles. Always & #Forever29

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