Last night’s game was the most important game in 2020 for the Texas Rangers. Maybe even the most important in the last few years.
That’s because this team has to be stripped to the studs and totally rebuilt. And the only way to do that is to start selling off pieces. And they desperately need as many pieces as possible to have as much value as possible.
Right now the Rangers are the baseball equivalent of the Home Shopping Network. And they have only three days left to spit shine that merchandise.
Nobody needed more Shinola than Mike Minor. Even if Minor was vintage first-half 2019 Mike Minor, the Rangers were never going to get a Fernando Tatis for him. After all, he’s a free agent after this year and a team would get him for only a month. But he started out so poorly in 2020 that the Rangers were in danger of getting a bag of used balls for him, if that.
Luckily, he pitched his best game of the season when the Rangers really needed him to, putting up six shutout innings. Against the Dodgers. A thing like that does wonders to alleviate worries and help bring back more in return.
The Rangers need everything they can get.
Then, there’s Shin-Soo Choo. He’s always been a bona fide on-base machine, the kind of player that would be an asset to any team in a playoff push. But, because he got off to a slow start, then got injured, it was difficult to know whether he had any real value left.
Last night he got two hits, including a double. Ran with ease. And looked like Shin-Soo Choo. His value shot up.
Finally, there’s Rafael Montero. He was in the game for two reasons. One, the Rangers desperately need a win. Two, a lot of teams need relief help and they desperately need to get as much as they can for him. Luckily for them, he pitched a perfect ninth, striking out two.
Today, their biggest asset, Lance Lynn, goes on display.
It’s going to take a lot to restock the Rangers pantry. Last night’s game couldn’t have gone better to help that effort.
Ross Stripling (3-1, 5.46) vs. Lance Lynn (4-0, 1.59)