Here we go again.
Admit, that’s what you were thinking in the 1st inning Tuesday night in Oakland. I know I was.
On the heels of being one-hit, shut out and bagled by the A’s, 8-0 on Monday, the Rangers were off and flopping again. Two baserunners in the top of the inning resulted in yet another scoreless frame, and then in the bottom … trouble.
Colby Lewis looked about as athletic as Paul Blart: Mall Cop in turning Sam Fuld’s harmless dribbler into an infield single. He then promptly walked Eric Sogard, and fell behind Ben Zobrist 3-0. Oakland hadn’t gotten a ball past the pitcher and they were already poised for a big inning.
But after incredulously shrugging off a visit to the mound by pitching coach Mike Maddux and the trainer, Lewis threw a strike for 3-1 and then got Zobrist to hit a twisting pop down the left-field line. Not many third baseman make a play like Adrian Beltre, but at full sprint with his back to the infield he reached out and caught the ball in the web of his glove for perhaps the game’s most important out.
Two pitches later Billy Butler grounded into an inning-ending double-play. Energized by their escape, the Rangers were on their way and Lewis was poised to settle down. Prince Fielder drove home two, Lewis survived six innings and Neftali Feliz struck out the tying run in Texas’ 3-1 victory.
For all the big things that went wrong in Game 1, the Rangers did the little things right in Game 2. And it all started by avoiding disaster.
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 currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.