I'm not a Pace of Play truther or anything but there's something about games telecast on ESPN that make me wish crazy Rob Manfred would shave a few innings off this thing so the youth will like our sport again and I don't have to keep feeling like I'm making someone miss SportsCenter.
Maybe it's because ESPN Sunday Night Baseball always seems to go for four hours with a 3-2 count in every at-bat like there's some mischievous entertainment wizard behind the scenes trying to manufacture drama where baseball usually develops it on its own.
More likely national broadcasts are a beating because the announcers aren't your dumb former players talking about nachos for an entire half inning. They're all former Yankees or suits talking about nachos for an entire half inning.
Whatever. I'll peel on my "I Survived Sunday Night Baseball And All I Got Was This Stupid Rangers Win" shirt because the Rangers won this series and everyone who likes baseball had to watch them do it because the Rangers were the only show in town.
Yu Darvish pitched tonight and he had to deal with that obnoxious k-zone overlay ESPN paints on with their altered reality vision. Darvish, clearly distracted, only gave Texas five innings on 105 pitches. He bent, but never broke while giving up two runs on five hits and four walks. Darvish struck out seven Tigers and gave Marlins Man a keepsake memory.
P.S. It must be kind of frustrating down in Houston where the baseball team is off to the best start in franchise history but are only up 5 1/2 games on a team that was 13-20 like two weeks ago.
Player of the Game: After Texas left like 20 dudes on base in a 2-2 game, Mike Napoli hit one about 1,000 feet beyond the endless center field Comerica fence. But Mike Napoli isn't the PotG. Mike Napoli's home run was deep and beautiful, sure, but he only gave the Rangers the lead.
It was Pete Kozma's home run an inning later that earned PotG status!
Yes. Pete Kozma hit a home run. It was the first time he'd done that since 2013. Because Pete Kozma hit a home run, the Rangers felt they could trust Sam Dyson for an extended look in a close game. Dyson, who hadn't stuck out a hitting in almost 50 (!) at-bats, went on to strike out three straight Tigers among his 1 2/3 innings of work.
Up Next: The Rangers get the day off tomorrow before opening a series in Boston against the Red Sox. Andrew Cashner is scheduled to start Tuesday's opener opposite RHP Rick Porcello.