A slow pitch softball game broke out in the sixth inning yesterday at the Ballpark. The Rangers piled on nine runs, the most they have scored in an inning in over three years.
What an inning it was.
Hit by pitch.
They scored six more the following two innings. And when it was all said and done, the Rangers won 18-4.
Nineteen hits. Twelve extra-base hits.
But in a game where the Rangers scored eighteen runs and had thirteen extra-base hits, the story wasn’t the offense. It’s the job that Yohander Mendez did as a starter.
The Rangers are going to score runs. They’ve scored more than any other team since the All-Star break. That usually leads to a winning record. But the Rangers are under .500 since the break because they have the second worst ERA in that time. It’s 5.91. Not far from Baltimore’s 5.95. And if you are anywhere near anything Baltimore is doing this season, you are in a world of hurt.
All the nine-run innings in the world mean nothing if the Rangers can’t find some pitching.
So, let’s bask in this start from Mendez. Six innings of three-hit shutout ball. It was quite the opposite of his six-run debut back in June.
He was supposed to have gotten a second start after that, but he was demoted all the back to A-ball for unnamed transgressions the night before.
But all things are eventually forgiven with a team desperate for pitching.
Mendez’s outing was very encouraging. Of course, the future of this franchise cannot be placed on his arm. That’s not fair. But every positive start is a step in the right direction.
Direction is the one thing this team has been lacking.
Matt Shoemaker (1-0, 4.76) vs. Ariel Jurado (2-4, 6.69)
Game time: 7:05