The Rangers won their fifth game in a row, taking the first two of a four-game series from Houston, 4-3, on a Tuesday night in early June for their thirty-sixth win of the season. Jake Diekman picked up the win in relief. Bobby Wilson and Ian Desmond went deep, Desmond’s home run coming with Profar on in the eighth put the Rangers ahead for good.
TALENT ON DISPLAY.
Originally published June 8, 2016.
Houston Astros save-blower Ken Giles claimed that his team had more talent than the Rangers, and that it had no business losing to Texas.
While you admire a guy for having such faith in his teammates, and it’s much better than saying his team sucks, like LeBron James does after every Cleveland Cavaliers loss, it’s about as foolish as Jose Bautista saying Rougned Odor’s fist had no impact on him, other than to his jaw and his helmet and his glasses and his ego and his panties.
It must be tough being the Houston Astros, the most talented major league team in Houston.
A team so talented, it coughed up a nine-game lead in the last eight weeks of the season last year.
A team so talented, it is nine games out of first place this year.
A team so talented, it cannot beat the lesser talented Texas Rangers.
Ken Giles was right. The Astros are much more talented than the Rangers. Except in their bullpen, rotation, outfield, infield, and catching.
Start with the bullpen where Giles resides like a bad tenant. Compare Giles, Gregerson, and Feliz to Bush, Diekman, and Dyson.
Talent advantage: Rangers, by a wide margin. In fact, Giles and Gregerson are favorites to win the Tanner Scheppers Award this year.
Look at the starting rotation, 2016 performances please: Keuchel, McHugh, McCullers, Feldman, Fister vs. Hamels, Darvish, Lewis, Perez, Holland.
Talent advantage: Rangers, lapping the field twice. Not even close.
Name one Houston starter who could crack the Rangers rotation.
Outfield: Rasmus, Gomez, Springer vs. Rua, Desmond, Mazara. Talent advantage: Rua, Gomez, Even. Both Springer and Mazara are wonderfully talented young outfielders. As tremendous as Mazara is, so is Springer.
The Astros have the best middle infielder combination in the American League, by far. The Rangers have the better infield.
Look at it.
Valbuena vs. Beltre: It’s not nice to be a bully, so we will move on.
Correa vs. Andrus: Correa.
Altuve vs. Odor: Altuve might be the best player in the American League this year, along with Mike Trout.
Gonzalez at first vs. Profar: It’s not a fair comparison since Profar has played only one game in his entire life at first base. Not fair in that in his one game Profar proved himself to be vastly more talented than Gonzalez, who looks more lost than a freshman on the first day of high school. Advantage: Profar, with a thousand-mile head start.
Jason Castro vs. any catcher the Rangers have. Advantage any Rangers catcher. In fact, if you compare Jason Castro to any catcher in baseball—American League, National League, Little League—advantage other catcher.
Evan Gattis vs Prince Fielder/Mitch Moreland: Ah, so that’s what Ken Giles was referring to.
When it comes down to it, we saw what the most talented team did on the field last night.
It did what it always does.
The Rangers just beat the Astros 4-3. The Rangers have beaten the Astros eight games in a row this year. The Rangers have beaten the Astros 21 out of their last 25 times.
Hey, Houston, don’t look now but your talent is showing.