Rangers 10, ChiSox 4
- One of the storylines that has been...not overlooked, really, but kind of skirted around this year has been the Cole Hamels situation. Hamels, expected to be 1B to Yu Darvish’s 1A, ended last season poorly, struggled to start the 2017, then landed on the disabled list with an oblique issue. The 33 year old didn't look right, hadn't looked right for a while, and there was some worry about whether Cole Hamels was still Cole Hamels, though there was something of a reluctance to speak of such a possibility out loud. With the Rangers situation in flux, a solid Hamels is key for the team, whether they (as anticipated) look to contend in 2018, when Hamels will be a crucial part of the rotation, or alternatively look to rebuild, in which case Hamels would be dealt in an effort to fortify the farm.
- The first inning started off with fears of broken Cole, as after a lead off groundout, Chicago went double-home run-HBP, sending Rangers fans into a frenzy of fearfulness. It looked like another bad outing, another data point for the notion that Hamels was done, or at least not that good, and on the heels of the Friday Night Nightmare, it seemed to portend doom.
- And then? Hamels retired the next 19 batters he faced. The final two in the first, the side in order in the second through sixth, and then the first two hitters of the seventh, before being lifted for Alex Claudio. It was an unforeseen recovery, and a turn of events that is potentially more significant than any win or loss we could have ended up with today.
- Claudio, entering with a 6-2 lead, tried to scare everyone by walking a pair of batters then giving up a two run double, but he settled down and ended up finishing out the game.
- Texas spread the wealth around on offense, with every starter except Robinson Chirinos getting a hit, but only two batters — Delino DeShields and Rougned Odor — having more than one, with each getting two hits. Odor’s day was particularly encouraging, as he went 2 for 4 with a walk and a home run. It should have been 3 for 4, but the Chicago scorer gave Tim Anderson an error on an absolute rocket of a ball up the middle that Anderson couldn't field, and that should've been called a hit. The Odor home run was off a lefty, and on an 0-2 count, the first 0-2 home run of Odor’s career.
- Elvis Andrus and Mike Napoli each homered as well, Elvis’s shot making it 4-2, Napoli’s making it 6-2. Elvis is awesome and should go to the All Star Game. Napoli’s bomb came after I called him Elvis Patterson on Twitter, so there you go, he's proving me wrong maybe.