When you heard that Ricky Nolasco and Tyson Ross were facing off in a game that would help to determine the Wild Card spot, you might have thought to yourself “Oh hey, weird, I thought [Oakland/Miami -OR- San Diego/Minnesota] were in opposing divisions. Also, when’s that new Arcade Fire record coming out? I bet they definitely don’t have a dress code for their upcoming tour. Additionally, politics are crazy, but ha ha only a reasonable, non-existentially-threatening amount.” Ha ha. You rube.

Here’s the thing. I’m fairly certain that his game actually did start sometime in 2011 or 2012. By my count, the Angels and Rangers threw a combined 145.622 pitches in this game. The battle spanned baseball generations. Mike Trout, born way back in the second inning, took great pride in taking over center field for his father Jim “Two Bones” Trout, who fouled off over three hundred pitches in his early years before succumbing to the inevitable wear and tear of time.

Albert Pujols, who was a mere 37 years of age when this game started, creaked his weary bones into action to hit a home run off Nick Gardewine, who was making his MLB debut. It was Pujols’ 610th career home run, making him the all-time MLB leader in home runs by players not born in the United States, breaking a tie with Sammy Sosa. In Gardewine’s defense, he would not even have faced Pujols had Elvis Andrus not made an error to allow Trout to reach base. This whole paragraph is true. There’s a lot in this article that is not true, but this paragraph is.

*sigh* Here’s the thing: it’s easy to write something like “Tyson Ross has been a horse dung pitcher” if you’re on Twitter and will never see Tyson Ross face to face. [NOTE: yes this is also an indictment of your uncle’s facebook posts] It’s another thing altogether to see Tyson Ross every day in the clubhouse, talk to him face to face about his recovery, and then watch him pitch, weighing in your mind exactly how to speak truth to a difficult situation.

“Tyson Ross is coming back from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery, and that’s a really hard thing to get right. I hope he succeeds, but yeah he’s kinda having a horse dung year” is about where I’ve landed. Thus far in 2017, I think it’s fair to say that Ross hasn’t quite gotten it right just yet.

Anyway, the Rangers gave up ten runs and only score one. The game ended at 1:06am Texas time. Texas is 3 games back in the AL Wild Card, given the Twins’ 4-1 win over the White Sox. Tyson Ross didn’t get the job done, and neither did Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who allowed a three-run home run. Neither did Gardewine / Andrus. Neither did the offense. Somehow, Ricky Nolasco defied all expectations and did get the job done. Ricky Nolasco. Okay. Last night was better, and perhaps so, too, will tomorrow be.