A week ago we rejoiced in the Rangers’ biggest, best comeback of the season. Today, let’s trudge to the other end of the spectrum.
Because last night’s 8-5 loss to the A’s has to be the worst gut punch of the year.
They were poised to rally for another win after Ian Desmond’s two-run homer gave them a 5-4 lead in the top of the 9th. But, instead, wobbly closer Shawn Tolleson wobbled yet again. Continuing a troubling trend he failed to get the final three outs, instead surrendering a two-out, Grand Slam to Khris Davis.
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En route to last year’s AL West title Tolleson was almost automatic, closing 35 of 37 chances. This year – just in mid-May – he’s already blown four saves in going only 11 of 15.
“It's frustrating,” said Tolleson, who has converted only two of his last five chances. “Our guys battle all game long and for Ian to come up with that big home run there to take the lead -- they're counting on me to get three outs and when I don't get it done it's frustrating.”
It’s early, but the Rangers’ inability to slam the door is already a problem. Six times they’ve lost a road game via walk-off. Ouch.
This one particularly stings.
After taking a dramatic lead, Tolleson took the ball and promptly allowed an infield single and a double. After two outs and an intentional walk Tolleson grooved six straight fastballs to Davis, who already had two homers. He didn’t miss the last one, crushing for a rare walk-off Grand Slam.
Something’s up with Tolleson. Last year he gave up only nine homers in 72 innings. This season he’s already surrendered four in 4 innings.
The Rangers are playing too good to have games repeatedly end this bad.
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.