As has been proven year after year, the Rangers philosophy on baseball doesn’t work during the regular season. During the playoffs, it’s a disaster.
The Rangers don’t believe in defense. Just stick anyone at any position. The Dodgers are trying that this post-season. Yesterday it was a huge failure.
Gavin Lux is a second baseman. So, naturally, they figured, let’s make him a center fielder. And let’s do it during the post-season, when every play matters most. And let’s ignore he has played only a handful of innings in his life in center. And let’s ignore center field is the one of the most important positions on the field.
Because of his unfamiliarity with the position, he misplayed an easily catchable ball into a four-run inning for the Braves. It looked to be the nail in the coffin for the Dodgers.
Atlanta rode that Jon-Daniels-level thinking by the Dodgers to a 5-2 lead heading into the eighth inning. That’s when they decided to go with ex-Ranger Luke Jackson. When last seen in a Rangers uniform, Jackson had pitched eight big league games in 2016 with a hideous ERA of 10.80. He was Jon Daniels’s first-round pick in 2010.
In one-third of an inning last night, he gave up four earned runs in the eighth to turn a 5-2 Atlanta lead into a 6-5 Atlanta defeat which allowed the Dodgers back in this series, giving them momentum going into today’s game. The Dodgers are back in it.
Then there was the Astros-Red Sox game. From the first inning, Boston led the entire game 2-1. Houston tied it in the eighth.
Then, Alex Cora made a critical mistake. He called on an ex-Ranger in a crucial ninth-inning situation to put out the fire. The guy he called on was Mr. Firestarter himself. Martin Perez.
Perez promptly gave up a three-run double, a walk, an RBI single, another RBI single, then another RBI single before finally getting an out.
When it was all said and done, the Astros scored seven runs in the ninth to go from the brink of elimination to tying the series at two games apiece.
Every team wants to play spoiler. But that’s usually during the stretch drive in September. The Rangers are spoiling teams’ chances in October.