The Rangers haven’t made any official September call-ups. But they have called up a few new faces in the bullpen to replace some holes. And the newbies got called to duty quickly.
Zac Curtis and Connor Sadzeck were both pressed into action in the sixth inning. And both did what they were supposed to do: keep the Rangers from losing a lead.
Curtis is a 26-year-old left-hander who the Phillies DFAed in early August. The Rangers signed him, assigned him to Triple-A Round Rock, then promoted him yesterday. Not counting yesterday, he’s pitched in thirty-four big league games over three seasons, with Arizona, Seattle, and Philadelphia. The Diamondbacks give him a long tryout in 2016, getting him into twenty-one games. He was 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA. He arrives in Arlington with a career ERA of 3.73, after sporting an ERA in 2018 with Philadelphia of 1.87 in just over nine innings of work.
Curtis came in the game with a runner on second, no outs, and a three-run lead, a night after the Rangers coughed up much worse than that. He got the first two batters out, then walked the third, and was removed from the game.
And replaced with Sadzeck. Who had been waiting for this moment a long long time. He, too, is 26. But he had been toiling away in the Rangers system since they signed him in 2011, at one time a top prospect.
Sedzeck has lightning in his arm. But injuries and lack of control have slowed his progress. Yet, it was that lightning that made them hang onto Sadzeck.
Last night, he came into a game with the tying run at the plate. A pressure situation for anyone’s first major league appearance.
His first major pitch was 99-miles an hour. Strike one. He followed that up with another 99er. Strike two. Then, to be cruel, he finished off the Twins hitter with a 79-mile-an-hour curveball. Strike three.
It was a fun sixth inning to watch. Connor and Sadzeck. Maybe they will have more innings like this in Rangers uniforms. Both pitchers had impressive debuts.
Add the four home runs the Rangers hit, and it was a good way to try to forget what happened Friday night.
Gabriel Moya (3-0, 4.73) vs. Yohander Mendez (0-1, 14.73)
Game time: 2:05
The Twins have never hit against Mendez.
How the Rangers hit against Moya.