This is yet another Rangers season that’s limping to the end, just desperately trying to finish. At least yesterday the schedule makers were nice enough to get two of them out of the way in one day.
The Rangers split in Miami. Nothing unusual there. They were in it in Game 2 until they gave up eight runs in the fifth inning. Certainly nothing unusual there.
But in the seventh inning of Game 2, Jesus Tinoco recorded one of the more memorable strike outs ever.
Marlins hitter JJ Bleday too the first pitch for a called strike, an 85 mile-per-hour curveball. 0-1.
He took the second pitch as well, another curveball. Another strike. 0-2.
A third curveball missed for 1-2.
A fourth curveball missed again to make it 2-2.
Four pitches, four curveballs, not one single swing yet from Bleday.
So Tinoco threw another curve. Bleday finally swung. He made contact. He fouled the pitch directly into Jonah Heim’s face. Luckily, catchers wear masks. The ball ricocheted straight up in the air. Heim was momentarily stunned, you know, from having a batted baseball hit him in the head. But once the birds stopped flying around his head, he regained composure long enough to notice the foul ball was still in flight.
So, he lunged to his right and caught the ball with his barehand.
Tinoco struck out the batter. But Heim earned the strikeout.
It’s these little insignificant things that will make these final thirteen games bearable.