With one of the most impotent lineups that has ever been assembled, a lineup even two Viagras couldn’t have helped, the Texas Rangers faced one of the most difficult pitchers in the American League.
The outcome of this game was determined the moment Elvis Andrus’s name was written in the number three slot.
Sure, Nick Martinez had his worse start of the season. In fact, he gave up seven runs in just 3.1innings.
But Jeff Banister earned the L on this one.
Banister, with his never quit mantra, quit.
He did not seem like the white flag type of manager, but there is no other possible explanation for batting Elvis Andrus third and Mitch Moreland fourth in any lineup in any league at any level in any country on any planet.
When your team is facing a pitcher as dominating as Chris Sale, you put the best team out on the field to give your team the best chance to score that one or two runs and hope your pitcher is on.
Or you give up.
Banister gave up. Shame on him.
There was absolutely no way he would know Martinez would crater. (In fact, maybe Martinez cratered because, after looking at the team behind him, he knew the only chance he had to tie the game was to throw a perfect game.) But he had been pretty brilliant in most of his starts, a little bloop or a bobble or some other piece of incredible luck that the Rangers have been blessed with lately, and that would be all Martinez would normally need.
But Banister sent the guy out to the beach of Normandy with only a Daisy air rifle BB gun. Alone.
Way to hang him out to dry.
This was the equivalent of Jeff Banister hitting a sharp ground ball to second and lazily running it out.
There are no forfeits in major league baseball. But last night was as close as it gets.
The umpires should have called the mercy rule the instant the lineup card was posted.