It’s almost impossible to lose a game like that.
How do you not win when the other team walks ten of your batters, hits five of them, gives up five base hits, and blows a potential bases-loaded inning-ending double play?
How do you have twenty base runners and come away with just three runs?
It’s simply not a major-league-ready offense. The crippling inability to get a hit with runners in scoring position is demoralizing.
The Rangers left bases loaded in the first and second innings, second and third in the third, first and second in the fourth, first and third in the fifth, first and second in the sixth, second in the seventh, first in the eighth, and third in the ninth.
Twenty base runners. Seventeen left on base.
Any hope, any optimism, and signs of life that the two-game sweep of Oakland brought to the team and to the season and to the fan base was killed off, buried, and the coffin was nailed shut in last night’s inept 4-3 loss to Houston.
Houston starter Charlie Morton faced twenty-three batters and twelve reached base.
Texas was 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
It was as if the Astros got together before the game and decided they felt so sorry for their cross-state rivals that they were going to give them a victory. And as if the Rangers had gotten together before the game and decided to throw it.
It was two teams working as hard as they could to give the other a victory. And the team best at losing won that contest.
After the games, Astros starter Charlie Morton remarked about his inability to find the strike zone, saying he had no idea where the ball was going when he let go of it. “It was a pretty unprofessional outing, I think, bordering on embarrassing.”
It is not known whether he was speaking of his performance or of the Rangers’.
So now Texas goes into this afternoon’s game with the chance of being swept in a four-game series at home against a slumping Dallas Keuchel, a former Cy Young winner who is struggling so badly he is slowly pitching himself off the Astros post-season roster.
This is the one game where the Rangers bats should come alive. The prediction here is that the Rangers break out against Keuchel today for twenty-two hits. It will be Keuchel’s first shutout of the year.
Dallas Keuchel (3-8, 4.13) vs. Matt Moore (1-5, 7.47)
Game time: 2:05