It was forty degrees last night in Chicago. Too cold for humans and baseball.
The Rangers bats froze.
Worse, the Rangers brains froze.
Delino DeShields led off the game with a walk. He was promptly picked off. It was going to be one of those games.
It was a close, tight game until the sixth when the White Sox added three runs to the two they already had and pinned the worst rotation start of the season on Rangers starter Martin Perez. It was bound to happen eventually. Rangers starters have been just short of brilliant the entire year.
That was the inevitable. Next was the inexcusable.
The Rangers loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh. Mitch Moreland came up to bat. Even though the Rangers were down 5-0, they were on the verge of something big.
What pursued was something weird.
Moreland hit into a triple play, although you can’t blame Moreland on it. He hit a line drive to left field, and he hit it hard. Deep enough to score most runners.
Prince Fielder, however, was the runner on third. For some reason he didn’t tag up. Maybe it’s because he runs slower than an arthritic slug.
But Ian Desmond wandered too far off first. The White Sox right fielder threw to first. Desmond got back in time. But then he overran the base, avoided a swipe tag getting back, lunged back to first, and got tagged out.
So then, about three minutes too late, Fielder decides to run. Beltre, the trailing runner had taken off for third, obviously thinking what Eric Nadel would wonder aloud just moments later.
Both runners were caught off base. Fielder was hung out to dry in a run down. Tagged out. And the Rangers were down and out.
It was the textbook 9-3-2-6-2-5 triple play.
“How did Prince not score on that, while all that crazy stuff was going on at first base?” Rangers radio announcer Eric Nadel questioned.
Brain freeze. Arthritic slug.
“You see some odd things in a full moon,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
Brain freeze. Arthritic slug. Full moon.
In the end, the Rangers were shut out for the first time in 2016.
Hopefully winter league games do not count in the standing.
Colby Lewis (1-0, 4.00) vs. Carlos Rodon (1-2, 4.73)
Game time: 1:10 pm