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Chi Chi Had a Night to Remember

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 30: Chi Chi Gonzales #21 of the Texas Rangers pitches in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 30, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.

    Ever so often, there are moments in a baseball game that transcend the actual game.

    One of those moments was Sunday's walkoff double off the bat of pinch-hitter Josh Hamilton. Sure, it gave the Rangers a win, but it meant much more than that.

    But that wasn't the first transcendent moment of the weekend at Globe Life Park in Arlington because less than 24 hours earlier, Rangers fans were treated to a really special moment after a stellar big-league debut from the organization's top pitching prospect, Chi Chi Gonzalez.

    Gonzalez, who had struggled in Triple-A this season, was called up to make a start because Phil Klein failed to effectively transition from the bullpen to the rotation, unsurprisingly, and Ross Detwiler was still on the DL. But after Saturday, Detwiler is now being brought back as a reliever because Gonzalez has himself a rotation spot.

    The 23-year-old carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his big-league debut despite struggling some with his control by walking five batters. When he finally gave up his first of two hits, a double to David Ortiz, Gonzalez was nearing the end of his rope.

    So when Jeff Banister, whose big-league career consisted of one game and one pinch-hit, infield single, came to the mound to get Gonzalez, and Chi Chi did the requisite "hand the ball to the skipper and exit stage left," Banister stopped him.

    "He was getting ready to hand me the ball. I said: 'No. You need to wait,'" Banister said in the postgame press conference. “'Listen to the noise, the crowd. That’s for you. It’s getting ready to get real loud. Don’t ever forget this.'"

    If those words don't give you goosebumps, you don't have a soul.

    Gonzalez is going to be around for a while, it seems. Will he make it through the cuts when guys like Martin Perez and Derek Holland, and possible Matt Harrison, end up coming back? Time will tell, but he has a future with the Rangers, and it's a big one.

    And we caught a great glimpse of the future on Saturday night.