It was an incredible at-bat. Ten pitches. But DeShields battled. And in the end, he poked a single to left field to score Joey Gallo from second for the only run of a thirteen-inning game.
It was an incredible at-bat in a game the Rangers sorely needed.
Can one at-bat be a turning point?
Can one at-bat change the momentum of a season?
History says yes.
On May 4, 2015, the Rangers were in dead last, eight-and-a-half games back, at 8-16, and falling fast, having not even managed to win two games in a row the entire season to that point. They were facing the first-place Houston Astros, at 18-8, and facing Dallas Keuchel, who was at the beginning of his brilliant Cy Young season.
The Rangers offense was struggling, ice cold from opening day, only two hitters were providing any offense, Fielder and Morland. They were getting shut out in that particular early-May game, losing 1-0 in the eighth, with Keuchel having nine strike outs. After Robinson Chirinos struck out to make it ten, up came a guy named Delino DeShields, hitting just .176.
DeShields took two quick strikes. Then he went to work. He took a few in the dirt. Worked the count to 3-2. Then laid off a really close pitch for ball four.
He immediately stole second. Then scored the tying run on a Jake Smolinski excuse me RBI single. And the Rangers would score the winning run in the top of the ninth.
From there, they went on to sweep the Astros, win twenty-one of their next thirty games to go over .500 for the first time all season, and eventually make their way all the way atop the division.
And it all started with one incredible at-bat.
From little-used Delino DeShields.
Who said history is boring?
Nathan Karns (0-0, 4.38) vs. Cole Hamels (0-0, 3.50)
Game time: 7:05