Let’s recap the top three transactions of 2015 thus far:
- Cole Hamels
- Yovani Gallardo
- Josh Hamilton
The fourth most important transaction the Rangers made in 2015, which in many ways could have been the first, was moving Tanner Scheppers to the “DL.”
His injury? He tore through the ligament of the team’s psyche every time he took the mound. He pulled a groin on the team’s playoff chances with every appearance.
He was the lit match in the lighter fluid factory.
His final act of larceny was blowing the lead—and the win—in Cole Hamels’s first game as a Ranger. He came into the game with a lead, gave up three hits, two earned runs, couldn’t get an out, and walked off the mound to a chorus of boos with the blown save and the admiration of not a single Rangers fan.
This came on the heels of other spontaneous combustion episodes.
The previous week in Colorado, in back to back games, he picked up a loss then, in what might have been his worst outing of the year, a win, thanks to the generosity of MLB’s scoring system.
In the first game, after the Rangers scratched and clawed their way to tie the game 7-7 in the top of the ninth, Scheppers promptly gave up the lead and the game in the bottom of the ninth. The next night, he came in with the Rangers leading 8-4 in the eighth, and promptly gave up four earned runs, letting the Rockies tie it. Fortunately for him, the Rangers scored two in the top of the ninth and, in a bit of Christmas in July, he was awarded the win.
His ERA in 2015 was 5.63, a vast improvement over his 2014 ERA of 9.00.
It is no co-incidence that once the Scheppers Temptation was removed from Jeff Banister’s bag of tricks, the Rangers manager gained sudden Yoda-like Manager of the Year skills.
It was a genius move by John Daniels. And set the playoff engine in motion.
Anyway, perhaps my single most favorite RR3 blog post of all time was the one after the Cole Hamels debut game. It was also my shortest:
THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS: