April 29, 2019.

For perhaps the first time ever, the Rangers have a formidable starting rotation. That is why I am fairly certain there won’t be a season. The baseball gods do not favor the Texas Rangers. Last year, the first two pieces of the rotation were very good.


First we’ll use Spahn
Then we’ll use Sain
Then an off day
Followed by rain
Back will come Spahn
Followed by Sain
And followed
We hope
By two days of rain

Written by Gerald Hern, sports editor for long defunct Boston Post, during the Boston Braves 1948 pennant drive, to commiserate that the team was trying to win it all with just two quality pitchers. The Braves manager rode his two starters hard that summer. And it worked. The Braves made it to the World Series for the first time in thirty-four seasons.

Seventy-one years later, Rangers fans can relate.

Could you image if the front office had actually tried to construct a winning rotation? The Dollar General sells plenty of worthy items. Starting pitching isn’t one of them.

The last two days gave Rangers fans a glimpse of how good the top two in the rotation can be. Not just in the quality of their starts but in the depth of their grit. On Saturday night, after six innings of mastery, Mike Minor came into the dugout and was greeted with a handshake by his manager. Minor responded with something like, “If you think I’m coming out, you’re crazy.” Chris Woodward let him go another inning.

Sunday, Lance Lynn matched him. He didn’t come out after five, which, with a 9-1 lead is pretty much textbook baseball now. He didn’t come out after six. Which, these days, gets you on Sports Center for bravest performances of the week and maybe even Purple Heart consideration.

No, Lynn is a workhorse. He, too, insisted on going seven. And his seventh inning was stress-free enough that he could have gone eight. But that’s just crazy talk.

With the Rangers ragged, overburdened bullpen, both Minor’s and Lynn’s efforts were worth more than just the wins they earned. It doesn’t matter that today is an off-day, and they have another one Thursday. Every inning a starter pitches is an inning the bullpen doesn’t have to. And why make the bullpen work in a 14-1 blowout ?

If only this team had a number-three, number-four, and number-five starter. So, with apologies to Gerald Hern, here is one Rangers fan’s commiseration with their two-man rotation.

First we’ll use Minor
Then we’ll use Lynn
Then two off days
And, please baseball god, a rain-out again
Back will come Minor
Followed by Lynn
Surviving the
Next three
Will take massive quantities of gin