Baseball season is well underway with tomorrow being the start of the third series of the year for most teams. Last season’s AL Pennant winner Texas Rangers are off to the hottest start in baseball at 6-0 going into Friday’s match up against the 4-1 Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore plays one more game tonight against the Detroit Tigers. One reason the Texas Rangers are starting so solid is the hot bats of Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler.
Nelson Cruz might have given Josh Hamilton a run for his money in the American League MVP vote in the 2010 season had he been able to stay healthy. Nelly’s hamstrings gave him trouble off and on through the year last year and landed him on the disabled list 3 times too often for the Texas Rangers. In an attempt to stay off of that list this year, Nelson Cruz made off season training changes in order to change the way he runs and strengthen against chance of more injuries this year. He worked with Atlanta based therapist Kyle O’Day, teammate Darren O’Day’s brother.
It is too early in the season to tell if Nelson Cruz will be able to remain healthy. However, it is not too early to tell that Nelson Cruz’s swing is just as good as last year, if not better. Cruz tied a Major League Baseball record by hitting a homerun in 4 straight games to open a season. The record ties the same feat by Willie Mays in 1971 and Mark McGwire in 1998. Nelson Cruz also tied a MLB extra innings homerun record with 5 in the 2010 season. That ties him with Charlie Maxwell for the most extra-innings home runs in a season in MLB history. Maxwell, an outfielder for the Tigers, had five in 1960.
The speedy 6’2, 240 lbs, right handed hitting and throwing Cruz has started the 2011 season out with 7 hits on 20 at bats through 6 games. Even more impressive than his .350 batting average is the fact that he has blasted 5 of those seven hits for extra bases. With 1 double, 4 homeruns, and 2 singles for 20 total bases, Cruz boasts an impressive 1.000 SLG and 1.435 OPS. Nelson has also drawn 3 walks to put his OBP at .435. Nelly also has a team leading 6 runs batted in. It should be mentioned that Nelson Cruz has done most of his damaged in the 6th spot of a loaded Texas batting lineup.
I think it is safe to save you can break out your old or purchase your new Nelson Cruz Texas Ranger’s jersey and wear it with pride through the rest of the 2011 MLB baseball season. You might also want to visit Stubhub.com or ticketcity.com to get your Texas Ranger’s baseball tickets as Nelson Cruz makes a bid for what could be a MVP season! The way he is swinging the bat, it would be ashamed not to catch a peek at it in person. Tune in on Friday to see if the Texas Rangers can make it a franchise record tying 7 straight wins to open the season.