I get what Rougned Odor was trying to do.
But apparently his antics fired up the wrong team.
After the Rangers’ feisty 2nd baseman lit some July fireworks Saturday night in Houston, the Astros awakened and plastered them, 10-0, in the Sunday finale. All-Star starter Dallas Keuchel wasn’t directly involved in Saturday night’s scuffle on the field, but on Sunday he made sure that Odor was aware of his opinion.
After totally muffling the Rangers with a career-high 13 strikeouts, Keuchel offered one more gut punch.
“When you don't show respect to other players, there's guys who will take offense to that,” Keuchel said. “You don't disrespect the game of baseball. I felt like we got disrespected. I wasn't on the field for it, but at the same time I knew what I had to do.”
Odor rankled the Astros by first taking out 2nd baseman Jose Altuve with a hard slide in the Rangers’ 7-6 win Saturday night, then – according to catcher Hank Conger – took too much time stepping into the batter’s box. After the two players began jawing at each other, dugouts emptied and eventually managers Jeff Banister and A.J. Hinch exchanged unpleasantries and sorta shoves.
Odor tripled – with a bat-flip exclamation point – after the skirmish, but was a hapless 0-for-4 against Keuchel. He was in complete, revenge-mode control, retiring 18 consecutive batters at one point to improve to 9-0 at home and drop his AL-leading ERA to 2.12.
Odor has stepped in Jurickson Profar's spot and proven he can play at this level. And, truth be told, I'm not sure taking a leisurely approach to the batter's box is disrespecting the game.
Gotta love Odor’s enthusiasm and spunk. Just like to see him use it to motivate his own team more than the opposition.
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.