It was vintage 2017 Rangers.
Yu Darvish dominated for four innings. Then he falls apart in the fifth. For the second straight start.
The bullpen fell apart again, too. But all is excused and forgiving because all the runs were unearned. So, it didn’t really happen. But it did.
Rangers hitters struck out ten times again.
The offense generated just four hits.
Yep, that was the 2017 Rangers.
Dallas Keuchel had won just once in his previous eight starts in the Ballpark. In his last three starts in Arlington, in fact, he was 0-3 with an ERA of 9.50. But that was against the 2016 and 2015 Rangers.
Pitching to the 2017 Rangers, he went six scoreless innings on a wet, rainy night, and went to 9-0 on the season, lowering his ERA to 1.67.
Darvish, on the other hand, had another fifth inning meltdown. Sure, it was only three runs. But we know going in that the threshold for runs was one. In his walk year, he is giving the Rangers ever reason to see him with another team next year.
What it came down to is once again proving that baseball is a game of revealing truths. Dallas Keuchel is much a better pitcher than Yu Darvish. The Houston Astros are much better team than the Texas Rangers. And the 2017 Texas Rangers are not a playoff team.
Better to learn that now than in September.
The first annual RangersRounding3rd.com Night at the Ballpark is tonight. For those who are going, see you there. Win or lose, it will be a fun night. I’m wearing my RR3 shirt with pride.
Lance McCuller (6-1, 2.48) vs. Andrew Cashner (2-4 2.92)
Game time: 6:15