That’s the number of losses the Texas Rangers had coming into Thursday night’s game, against just half that many wins. The early season has been a disappointment, to be sure, and the team that many expected to contend for the AL West division crowd is mired in the basement.
The number of games on the homestand the team began tonight against Kansas City. The Royals will stay for four, then three against Minnesota before the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim make their 2017 Arlington debut.
The number of pitches from Matt Bush to Brandon Moss. Bush was put into the closer’s role recently, and while this was not a save situation, it was a tie game in the 9th at home. There will be no save, so here was Bush doing what a closer does in these situations. Long gone by now was tonight’s starter Andrew Cashner. Cashner went five rugged innings, walking four, but never allowing a single one of those walks to reach even second base. He also allowed three hits, and while all of those guys made it to second base (one forced over by a walk, another on a stolen base, and the middle one on a double), none went to third.
He gave way to Tony Barnette, who allowed not a single baserunner in his inning of work. Next it was Alex Claudio and Jeremy Jeffress combining on a scoreless inning. Matt Bush wrapped up his 1-2-3 inning with that tenth pitch to Brandon Moss. It was a curveball. Swung on and missed.
After the Rangers were unable to score in the bottom of the 9th, it was time for extras. Keone Kela was the first Ranger. Six up and six down, as he struck out two. Then Dario Alvarez. He struck out three in his two innings, giving up just a leadoff walk in the 12th.
Walks don’t count towards the “Total Bases” stat, but if they did, the Royals’ five on the night would be added to their three singles and a double to add up to...
The number of at-bats for Delino DeShields in the 2017 season entering today’s ballgame. Only yesterday did he get his first hit, after scorching the basepaths en route to being this Spring’s breakout player. He entered camp having spent the offseason focusing on his strengths: a patient eye and his speed.
Tonight, the hard work paid off, as DeShields fouled off pitch after pitch from Travis Wood–five of them, in fact–en route to the pitch number…
DeShields rounded first as the scattered remnant of a 26,000+ crowd roared their approval. Joey Gallo, who had doubled down the right-field line to start the bottom of the thirteenth now put his head down and sprinted as DeShields’ line drive soared over his head towards the left-field line. Gallo didn’t hesitate as he rounded the bag and sprinted home. He smashed his helmet exultantly as he crossed home plate.
Simultaneously, DeShields' helmet was floating about forty feet into the air as the hero spun a counter-clockwise pirouette between first and second base and flashed his smile to the oncoming barrage of red jerseys. Gallo, too, made a left-hand turn and caught up to the melee as it spilled into shallow center field.
It was a much-needed win, punctuated by a pair of helmets slung high and low, zeroes on the board and heroes now jumping in time as water bottles were emptied with great exuberance. The scoreboard stoically held up its scorecard:
*I even have a couple b-sides here. Ten is also the combined number of hits for the two teams tonight in a game that lasted thirteen innings. Ten is also the total number of base runners for Texas on the evening, scattering four walks across the evening and adding those two final hits in the 13th.
“I have confidence, because my teammates like Beltre and the other guys, they talk to me, and teach me. They have confidence in me, and that gives me confidence. I get excited, just like I get excited for my bullpen buddies. That’s what we all try to do, we fight for each other, help take care of each other’s backs.” - Dario Alvarez, through an interpreter
“I saw Gomez standing there, and I was running way too fast to hug him, or give him a high five. Last year, I remember I scored on something like that and I took my helmet off… it was a little bit of both: I was definitely excited that we won, and definitely excited to get that game over with, it felt like forever.”
“I didn’t really know what to do, so I just threw my helmet and tried to kill Delino.”
“Yeah, you know especially (after) our road trip didn’t go the way we wanted it to, so to have a game like that… the pitchers were phenomenal. The offense… we didn’t get many hits, but we competed the whole game and we were just waiting to string a couple hits together. Every inning, we would come in and everybody’s fired up, like ‘This is the inning! This is the inning we do it!’ Everybody wanted to get another at-bat, everybody wanted to be the hero, so you know it’s huge, it’s big to get a win like that and get some momentum. Hopefully, we can keep that going.” - Joey Gallo