Good news: The Rangers traded for Cole Hamels.
Bad news: They didn’t trade away Tanner Scheppers.
Hamels made his debut Saturday night at Globe Life Park and – while he didn’t flash his no-hit stuff – pitched well enough to win. He left the mound with two outs in the 8th inning and a three-run lead. Standing ovation. Fist bumps. A wave of acknowledgement.
And then … Scheppers.
The reliever who more and more these days reminds me of Mark Lowe – yikes – blew the save and Hamels’ win, allowing the Giants to tie the score in the 9th and made it possible for San Francisco to win it in 11 innings.
Look at the scoreline from afar and some of the wildest knee-jerkers this morning are ready to call the trade for Hamels a failure. He didn’t have his best stuff. He’d been in Arlington less than 24 hours when he took the mound. Yet still, he put his new team in a position to win. He surrendered five extra-base hits and two homers but kept the Rangers close with six strikeouts and a key, inning-ending double-play to end the 7th.
“You obviously want to go out there and throw a no-hitter,” Hamels said in the post-game clubhouse. “But I’m out there trying to do what I can. Getting that ovation from the fans is hard to describe.”
He was good. But with Scheppers behind him, Hamels has to be better.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.