For the second consecutive season, the Texas Rangers are 9-2 through the first 11 games. In 2011, that included three-game sweeps of Boston and Seattle at home and winning two of three from Baltimore and the first game in Detroit. Here in 2012, it includes taking two of three from the Chicago White Sox and three of four from the Seattle Mariners at home, followed by a sweep of the Minnesota Twins on the road and the first game of the Red Sox series in Fenway Park with an emphatic 18-3 win. So let's look at the two starts (hint: they are pretty similar, actually):
2012: 7-0, 2.43 ERA with 58 strikeouts and 20 walks. Opponents are hitting .242 against them and they have eight quality starts.
2011: 8-1, 2.56 ERA with 50 strikeouts and 19 walks. Opponents hit .209 against them and they had eight quality starts.
2012: 63 runs (5.7 per game), .290 team average, 111 hits, 22 doubles, 3 triples, 21 home runs, 4 stolen bases.
2011: 64 runs (5.8 per game), .270 team average, 96 hits, 22 doubles, 5 triples, 18 home runs, 8 stolen bases.
2012: 4 errors, 7 double plays, .990 fielding percentage
2011: 6 errors, 8 double plays, .985 fielding percentage
2012: .413 average (19-for-46), 5 homers, 11 RBIs, .404 OBP, .804 slugging percentage
2011: .333 average (13-for-39), 0 homers, 7 RBIs, .409 OBP, .462 slugging percentage
* Hamilton was hurt in the 11th game in 2011 on the slide at home plate in Detroit and missed nearly six weeks. More on Hamilton's start coming up on the blog.
* The 2011 team had two games scoring 12 or more runs in that stretch -- 12-5 win over Boston (second game) and a 13-1 win in Baltimore.
* The 2012 team has two games scoring 11 or more runs in this stretch -- 11-5 over Seattle and 18-3 over Boston.
So which start do you like better? It has to be this one, right? The club is pounding the ball more and getting slightly better starting pitching. And, of course, they are healthy to this point.