On Saturday night, there was much talk following the Rangers' extra-innings loss to the Giants in which Cole Hamels left his debut with two outs in the eighth inning and a three-run lead.
With two outs in the eighth, Hamels allowed a hit. He was still under 100 pitches, but rookie Rangers manager Jeff Banister decided it was time to give him the hook with Matt Duffy at the plate. Prior to that at-bat, Duffy had one hit, but had been retired the last few times, including a strikeout on which he looked clueless against Hamels.
It would've made perfect sense to let Hamels face him for the chance to get through eight innings and turn it over to Shawn Tolleson in the ninth with a three-run lead. Instead, Banister called on Tanner Scheppers, who quickly threw a gas can on the game and allowed the Giants to tie it before they eventually won the game in 11 innings.
On Sunday, Banister made a much more egregious error.
Martin Perez was cruising, more than any Rangers pitcher had cruised in quite some time. He'd thrown 80 pitches, gotten one out in the ninth inning and then allowed a double to bring the tying run to the plate. Eighty pitches, 25 outs, and suddenly, Perez was gone.
It happened, and Banister went to newly acquired Jake Diekman, who'd been spectacular against the Giants on Friday and Saturday, retiring all eight batters he'd faced in those two games. But Diekman's book also says he's wild at times, not to mention the Giants had seen him on two straight nights.
Diekman immediately came in and issued a four-pitch walk, and his day was done. The game eventually ended with fellow new Ranger Sam Dyson induced a game-ending double play and the Rangers won 2-1.
It was a bad, bad outing for Banister, who didn't have his best weekend as the Rangers manager. Yet, somehow they won a series against the defending world champs.