Well that got pretty dark.
Pinned. And striped.
I’d call this the weekend’s high water mark but that term really doesn’t need to be used right now.
The Yankees hung four on Martin Perez and the Rangers in the second after a Rougned Odor error lead the three unearned and we all sighed in unison. But the Rangers began to peck away with a solo Mazara shot in the bottom half of the frame.
That run came back in the third (Didi Gregorius matching Mazara’s solo homer), but the bleeding stopped there, and the pecking away continued. Two runs in the third (Delino DeShields doubling in Robinson Chirinos, and Elvis Andrus doubling in DeShields). Then four in the fifth (Chirinos double, Shin-Soo Choo double, Andrus single, plus a friendly wild pitch) to take a lead they wouldn't surrender. Four more piled on seventh for insurance, and 3.1 shutout innings by Ricky (Ricardo) Rodriguez, Jake (yay!) Diekman, and Tony (new dog!) Barnette.
Andrew Cashner looked at Yu Darvish’s Rangers excellence tarnished by a frustrating lack of run support and said ‘Hold my Lone Star tallboy’. He pitched seven innings of shutout ball, striking out four and allowing only six baserunners.
But, he threw one pitch in the eighth, and that hit Todd Frazier. Alex Claudio immediately came on, and allowed a single to pinch-hitter Matt Holliday which moved Frazier to third, and a sacrifice fly brought him home, losing Cashner’s shutout and the lead.
One inning later, with the heat on Claudio, Bannister turned to Rodriguez again, because nothing says high pressure September baseball like having a reliever who started the season in High-A (Matt Bush just had to chase down that pop-up….). It didn’t turn out well, and the Rangers faced Aroldis Chapman down 3-1. Three up, three down, 3-1 final.
The Rangers’ lone hit was a Brett Nicholas double, scoring Will Middlebrooks.
Also Carlos Gomez sprained his ankle (the high variety). His season is done, almost certainly, and his tenure as a Ranger may be as well, given his impending free agent status. Fare thee well, Carlos, if that’s the case, and the Rangers would need to find their 47th different Opening Day center fielder (Margin of error: +/- 40).
There’s been, probably, a dozen times this season where I’ve said ‘Yeah, this is the moment where the walls fell, I’ll say for years down the line”. The walls… well, they're still standing. For right now. But this time, seriously, this might have been the start of the walls falling.
Hey at least you can get half-price pizza if your lunch or dinner plans need a quick solution.
Also Rougie hurt his ankle. I know I used this gimmick up before with Gomez, but it’s September and I’ve used up all my cute and we’re all just grinding right now. We’ll await swelling and MRIs and results and such.
Fall brings Seattle, or does Seattle bring the fall?
The Mariners come to Arlington for a four game set. The Mariners are... just a game behind Texas, so this is a high-leverage time.
Tonight’s opener will see Cole Hamels opposite Ariel Miranda. In Miranda’s last start, he no-hit the Astros for six innings, but had to depart due to 112 pitches thrown. The bigger story to watch is whether Texas recalls Jurickson Profar, should the results of Rougie Odor’s ankle situation turn sour.
On Tuesday, The Battle of M. Gonzalez’s will commence, as Miguel (Texas, right-hander) faces Marco (Seattle, left-hander). Both are starting their second game in this stint, with Miguel hoping to best his initial post-trade start vs Atlanta while Marco just recently bounced back into the rotation for Seattle.
On Wednesday newly minted Mariner Mike Leake will start against Martin Perez. Mike Leake enjoys mahogany wood and a good Salisbury steak. His favorite band is Train, and the most afraid he’s ever been was when his favorite grocery store was out of mustard.
In Thursday’s series finale, Andrew Cashner will oppose Felix Hernandez. Had Houston not been obstinate regarding the Harvey reschedule, we would have likely our last hurrah of Beltre vs Felix in 2017 (scheduled, at least). Instead we’ll have to do with Hernandez realizing that Elvis is very, very good at hitting now. Also, maybe try scoring some runs for Cashner this time?
Follow Joe on Twitter @thejoeursery so you can find out what he has against mahogany wood.