The Rangers have won 68 games this year. That’s exactly how many they won last year. With 47 games remaining, there’s a good chance they will top last year’s record.
Chances are great, though, that they won’t win that game by coming back the ninth inning. In fact, this entire year, a season in which the Rangers have led their division pretty much from Day One, a season in which they are 21 games over .500, they have never had a game in which they came back in the ninth inning to turn a deficit into a win.
They have been the victim of that many times, especially with that dumpster-fire bullpen they were running out there on a nightly basis for most of the first four months of the season.
Yesterday, down 2-0 heading into the ninth inning, there was absolutely no way the Rangers were going to win. It was statistically impossible. That’s if you are an analytics guru. Because they had never done that.
So, in the ninth, with two outs, when Sam Huff singled, then so did Robbie Grossman, Josh Smith was up with a chance to turn the game around, to pull out a victory with a dramatic ninth-inning comeback, something their rival Astros do seemingly on a nightly basis.
But, it wasn’t to be again. Josh Smith lined out to the shortstop to end the rally, end the game, end the winning streak, but continue the inability to come back in the ninth.
All season long the Rangers have pretty much pummeled their opposition when they’ve won. They get up, get up big, and cruise to a win. Which is nice.
Occasionally they get down early, chip away, and come back in the sixth or seventh and win it. Which is nice.
But just once it would be nice if they were able to find that dramatic moment, down in the ninth, desperately needing that hit to turn the game around, and they got it.
It hasn’t happened yet. And it probably won’t happen this year.
Until the ninth inning of a playoff game when it seems most unlikely. Because that’s how baseball works.