The Rangers celebrate after coming from behind to beat the Yankees on reserve outfielder Josh Hamilton’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth.
Don’t look now, but the Rangers are 2-0 since the trade to acquire Cole Hamels was announced. While most experts do not expect the Rangers to win the rest of their games this season, just the mere presence of Cole Hamels as a Texas Ranger has turned around a franchise that seemed destined for another lost season.
Last night’s game against the Yankees was one of those classic great games, reminiscent of a game the Rangers played just this past Saturday in Of Anaheim against the Angels. That too was a back and forth affair with both teams trading leads, and the Rangers eventually coming out on top.
It’s encouraging that they have had two such games in the span of a week.
That it happened against the Yankees makes it even better. That it happened at home makes it even better than that. That it happened with Cole Hamels as a Ranger is to be expected. This is why the Rangers traded for him.
To win every game.
As is always the case in any complete team effort, there were too many important moments to pinpoint. Most of those you can see in the box scores. But there was one play that was the difference of the game and won’t stand out on the ledger sheet.
Mitch Moreland’s stretch to save a sure errant throw from Elvis Andrus, and to complete a double play, in the top of the seventh, with the scored tied 6-6, was the single most critical key to the Rangers victory last night.
Prince Fielder would not have made that play. And the runner, instead of being out at first, would have been standing on second. Instead of two outs and nobody on, it would have been one out, runner at second.
The next three Yankees reached. It would have been one of those meltdown innings. We’ve seen how the Yankees can string together base runner after base runner and crush the Rangers.
It didn’t happen this time. All because Moreland finished the double play. Sam Freeman bent, but didn’t break. And the Rangers won the game in the bottom of the ninth with more heroics from Josh Hamilton.
Hamilton tied the game in the bottom of the first with a three-run homer, and untied it in the bottom of the ninth with an RBI single.
He was the Rangers hero once more.
While the Rangers are undefeated since the Cole Hamels trade, maybe Daniels’s best move was a lesser deal for bench-player Josh Hamilton.
Since coming over from the Angels, Hamilton has proven to be quite an effective fourth outfielder. He doesn’t play much, but when he does get the occasional spot start, Hamilton seems to come through, like he did last night.
In order to save his super sub from too much wear and tear, Rangers manager Jeff Banister will most likely sit Hamilton tonight against the Giants. It makes sense, though. All that running around last night threatens to put undue stress on his batting average. You wouldn’t want that to start bulging too much, or for his on base percentage to rupture and explode.