NINTH INNING OR BUST.
Yesterday, I recounted Top Ten Moment # 7 of the Rangers 2017 season. Here is what I wrote about it at the time. Reposted from the morning after the second of two consecutive walk-off-wins, May 13, 2017.
There isn’t a basketball game that has ever been played, professional or college, of which anyone would ever need to watch anything but the last two minutes. Which usually lasts about 45 actual minutes.
The rest of the game is not essential. Every game comes down to the final two minutes, and that’s all you need to care about, or watch.
The Texas Rangers are turning into a basketball team. Two games in a row have been eight innings of deep, boring, unwatchable slumber, followed by one inning of excitement.
Fortunately, that one inning has been the last. And fortunately, that inning has turned both games from losses into victories.
You can debate until the cows come home whether the Athletics should have walked Joey Gallo with first base open and one out. Old School baseball men like Ron Washington would be turning in the grave of his own making when he saw them make the decision to pitch to Gallo.
Yes, Gallo strikes out a ton. Yes, his batting average was under the Mendoza line. But he hits bombs.
Better to face the next guy in line who also strikes out a ton. Also hovers around the Mendoza line, and cannot hit the ball out.
That’s what the game called for.
But Oakland manager Bob Melvin called for his closer to pitch to Joey Gallo. And with two strikes, Joey Gallo hit a rocket that hit the foul pole and sent the Rangers home with a bottom-of-the-ninth victory for the second day in a row.
The Rangers are becoming must-view TV.
From the ninth inning on.