In 1971, Texas took the team from Washington DC.
Forty-six years later, Texas took the team from Washington DC again, but in a different way.
In what has to be the most unlikely sweep of the twenty-first century, the sluggish Texas Rangers came into DC and won three games against the mighty Washington Nationals.
David beat Goliath. And even more unlikely, Austin Bibens-Dirkx outpitched Max Scherzer.
It wasn’t just because Bibens-Dirkx earned a win he deserved and Schezer was tagged for a loss he didn’t deserve. It’s because Bibens-Dirkx, making just his second major league start ever, actually outpitched a guy with two Cy Youngs, two no-hitters, two thousand strikeouts, and two twenty-win seasons.
In fact, Bibens-Dirkx’s performance was record breaking. Between giving up a lead off home run and then a single in the first inning and then a single in the seventh, he retired nineteen straight batters, a Rangers rookie record.
It’s a pretty incredible story that is playing out. He played for twelve seasons in the minor leagues, independent leagues and different Caribbean leagues with twenty-one different teams. He came to the Rangers and outperformed everybody in spring training. Then he went back to the minors and waited for his chance.
Austin Bibens-Dirkx is now 2-0 with a nice 3.28 ERA. And he outdueled Max Scherzer.
Baseball officially makes no sense.
Yu Darvish (5-4, 3.18) vs. Joe Musgrove (4-4, 4.89)
Game time: 7:10
How the Rangers hit against Musgrove.
How the Astros hit against Darvish.