Eighteen years ago, the Cleveland Indians authored the greatest comeback in major league history.
They were down 14-2 after the fifth, and it stayed that way going into the bottom of the seventh, when they picked up three seemingly meaningless runs off Aaron Sele, who had formerly been a Texas Ranger.
So, it was 14-5 going into the bottom of the eighth. Still too far to dream. Too far to even dream about dreaming.
Then they scratched out four runs in the eighth. Helpful, but still they were five runs back, with only three more outs to spend. Don’t be ridiculous. Don’t even.
Only the most diehard of diehard fans would have expected them to do it. The Indians didn’t even pull off anything like that in the movie Major League.
It looked especially bleak after a leadoff single in the ninth was followed by two quick outs.
Then, the impossible. A double. A walk. A single. A single. And a triple. Before you knew it, five runners had touched the plate. The game was tied. The wind went out of the Mariners’ sails.
Cleveland won it in extra innings. They came back from a twelve-run deficit to stun Seattle.
That thought occurred to me last night when the Rangers were down 13-1 after the fourth inning. Would they stun the Toronto Blue Jays just as the Cleveland Indians did to the Seattle Mariners back on August 5, 2001?
Then the Blue Jays scored two more in the fifth. Then two more in the sixth.
Okay, the Rangers are trying to one-up the Indians and pull off an even more amazing comeback, down sixteen runs. Then, to make it even more amazing, they gave up two more runs to the Blue Jays.
Now, this was going to really be epic.
The history-in-the-making ninth inning for the Rangers started like it did for the Indians way back then.
A hit, then two outs. Then two more hits. Then two more runs. Then—
Then the dream died.
Lance Lynn (14-7, 3.60) vs. Thomas Pannone (2-5, 6.83)
Game time: 6:07