There’s only one way the Rangers can lose to a team as bad as the Reds. They say, “here you go,” and hand them the game.
The Rangers walked six Reds hitter, committed an error, and turn a catchable ball into a triple.
After a double to lead off the bottom of the first, Nathan Eovaldi struck out the next two hitters. Then, he got Tyler Stevenson to ground out to third. Except Josh Jung, who ended up hitting two home runs in this game, short hopped the throw to first that went right into Nathanial Lowe’s glove, then out.
“You want a free run? Here you go.”
The Rangers took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the third.
Eovaldi walked the first batter. “Here you go, take a free base.”
Then he hit the next batter. “Here you go. Enjoy your time at first.’
Then he gave up a long drive to left field that Leody Taveras ran a bad route on, got his glove near the ball, but couldn’t catch it, resulting in a two-runs-scoring triple. A ground out scored that runner from third.
The Reds had scored four runs, all gifted. But the philanthropy was only beginning.
With a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth, Dane Dunning was on the mound. He hadn’t given up an earned run all year. After pitching a one-two-three seventh, Dunning gave up a one run single. Then a walk. “Here you go, take a free base. On me.” Then, he induced a weak pop up. With two men out, he walked the next batter. “Here you go, I loaded the bases for you, I hope you’re okay with that.”
Then Bruce Bochy made the long walk from the dugout to pull Dunning. His walk back to the dugout would not be the last walk of the inning.
Because Jose Leclerc came in and proceeded to walk the first batter he faced. His pitches were nowhere near the strike zone. Now it was 6-5.
Until he walked the next batter as well. “Here you go. I made the game is tied for you, now.”
Somehow, Leclerc struck out the next batter. But he walked the first batter he faced in the bottom of the ninth.
Three walks out of four batters faced was too much for Bochy. But the Rangers acts of kindness were not over.
Will Smith came in and the first pitch he threw, Jonah Heim missed. Passed ball. “Here you go, take a base. It’s on me.”
The next Reds hitter, TJ Friedl singled, and the Reds won.
The Rangers came bearing gifts. The Reds accepted them. And the Rangers sustained the most embarrasing loss of the season.
Six walks, a passed ball, an error, and a bad route. That’s not what a good team does.