There is an iconic scene in the classic movie Animal House that is poking fun at fraternity hazing rituals. A new pledge, played by a very young Kevin Bacon, is bent over while the sadistic frat bro in a ritualistic robe wielding a thick paddle proceeds to whack him in the rear, over and over again, very painfully, and all the kid can do is gleefully ask, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”
That scene came to mind last night while watching the Rangers bullpen cough up yet another huge lead late.
Only, unlike with Animal House, this wasn’t funny.
The Rangers came into the season with two glaring needs. A left fielder who could hit, and a bullpen. So far, they’ve been able to patchwork left field with platoons, veterans, journeymen, and whatever magic Bruce Bochy has cooked up. It has worked.
The bullpen had worked too. Until Cincinnati. But there were signs it was cracking. Jose Leclerc has been erratic. Jonathan Hernandez has been mostly good but had had moments of wildness. Ian Kennedy hasn’t been able to find the magic that made him a surprise out of the bullpen last year. Josh Sborz has actually been effective but everybody knows he could have a Josh Sborz outbreak at any moment. Cole Ragans had been brilliant his first five outings. Then, he gave up two runs in a loss against Houston, and was the chief arsonist in last nights collapse against Cincinnati.
Heading into the bottom of the eight, the Rangers lead 6-1. Ragans entered the game and got the first batter to ground out. Then proceded to hit a batter, give up a single, another single, yet another single, a walk, a double, and a single.
Thank you sir, may I have another? And another? And another? And another?
When the ritualistic beating was over, the Reds had stunned the Rangers for the second night in a row, this time scoring six runs in the bottom of the eighth.
The Rangers went down meekly in the top of the ninth, putting apt punctuation on an embarrassing loss.
No thank you, sir. We do not every want another one of those.