OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 22: John Jaso #5 of the Oakland Athletics is tagged out at home plate by Robinson Chirinos #61 of the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the second inning at O.co Coliseum on April 22, 2014 in Oakland, California. Jaso was attempting to score on a fly ball to center field off the bat of Jed Lowrie. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
So far this season, the Texas Rangers, who are a win today away from having the best record in the American League, have had a handful of pretty wacky wins.
There was a walkoff walk, a walkoff single after a horribly botched error kept a ninth-inning rally alive, and then, there was Tuesday night.
Much like that game against King Felix and the Mariners last week, the Rangers were on their ninth life, seemingly all but dead in the water, yet found a way to pull out a win. Except this time, it was against their biggest rival, on the road, against the best team in the American League.
And the ridiculousness involved in the comeback was both infuriating, and in hindsight, humorous.
The Rangers' first three pitchers of the nights — Nick Martinez, Aaron Poreda and Shawn Tolleson — were all guys who were nowhere close to being on the big-league roster's radar as late as mid-March. Kevin Kouzmanoff, the Rangers' hottest hitter who wasn't on the Opening Day roster, left the game early and was replaced by journeyman second baseman Josh Wilson, who was replaced by prospect Luis Sardinas.
Michael Choice, a prospect with less than 10 big-league starts under his belt, started in left field for the injured Shin-Soo Choo and hit leadoff. The list of insanity goes on and on, yet the Rangers found a way to win.
The way they did it? Well, that was far from simple.
Mitch Moreland hit a pinch-hit leadoff double to start the ninth inning with a one-run deficit. He was moved to third base on a sac bunt from Robinson Chirinos. That bunt was understandable. The next hitter, Leonys Martin, just needed a healthy fly ball to score Moreland and tie the game. Instead, he laid down a rogue bunt — a great one — and actually reached first base, but Moreland was thrown out at home.
All hope seemed dead then. Two outs, runner on first after they had no outs and a runner on second. Son of a... Then, magic happened. Martin stole second, and Wilson hit a laser off the left field wall to tie the game before Choice knocked a single up the middle to score Wilson for the eventual game-winner.
The A's snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, and after Wednesday, they could be sitting in second place. Given all the Rangers' problems, that's just ridiculous.