As soon as I heard the return for the Yu Darvish trade, I believed my 2017 heart belonged to #TeamTank. What I didn’t know is that I had really become a member of #AstrosSchadenfreude.
Freed from the burden of caring all that much day to day if the Rangers win, I just want the Astros to lose (I also want the Mariners and Angels to lose but, hey, they didn’t actively go out of their way to suppress the Yu Darvish trade market while also being the team that could have benefited from trading for him, so...).
Sometimes, like this weekend, the Rangers are granted the opportunity to double dip with found money wins and a generous contribution to butt clenching down I-45.
Tonight, the Rangers beat the Astros tonight 6-4 to scratch that itch. Cole Hamels — a guy who could have been an Astro if not for their half-decade of ultra tanking — was brilliant. Charlie Morton — a member of the MLB-worst August 6.92 ERA Darvish-less starting staff — was not.
The Astros kept Joey Gallo on the launching pad but they couldn’t stop Elvis Andrus who went 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored.
The bullpen, as is its wont, made it nerve wracking by allowing four runs in the eighth and putting the tying runs on base in the ninth but Alex Claudio eventually came through with a knee-buckling full count two-out strikeout of Jose Altuve on one of his bugs bunny changeups.
While it’s fun watching the Astros lose, the win by the Rangers also brought them to within three games of the second Wild Card in the trash heap that is the American League.
Maybe we can have our tank cake and eat postseason, too?
Player of the Game: Cole Hamels continues to flourish in the second half as tonight he went seven innings and allowed zero runs on just three hits while striking out five Astros.
Up Next: The Rangers get another chance to make the Astros nervous about wasting their season with Tyson Ross returning from the DL to matchup against RHP Mike Fiers of Houston. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm CT but that might be bumped a little late since the Rangers are retiring Pudge’s #7 before the game.