For what it’s worth, that headline is mostly tongue-in-cheek. In a tied game in the top of the seventh against a legendarily bad Orioles team, the Rangers finally pushed Alex Cobb and his changeup of death out of the game and turned to Ryan Rua in Carlos Tocci’s spot with lefty reliever Tanner Scott on the mound and two on, one out.
Rua, baseball’s version of an indestructible cockroach for his ability to hang onto a roster spot despite minimal product, hit the first pinch hit home run with at least one runner on base for the Rangers since 2013. The three-run dong swiftly gave the Rangers a lead that they would eventually barely hold onto and allow Cole Hamels to pick up a stat-padding W.
So, yes, I do think Ryan Rua has benefited perhaps unfairly from his handedness, proximity, and good ol’ dumb baseball roster procedural machinations, but I don’t root against him and am glad that he had a nice, big moment that pretty much won a game for the Rangers after several years of struggling to find his footing in the big leagues.
Good for you, Ryan Rua.
That said, if the Rangers end up with a lower draft pick, and therefore smaller draft pool by a single game, I’m going to be real cross.
Player of the Game: It was against the Orioles, sure, but after a handful of poor starts, Cole Hamels bounced back with an outing that will perhaps momentarily suspend some of the notion that Hamels’ trade value has gone completely belly up.
Ultimately the box score will tell you that Hamels allow four runs but the final three of those came on a two-out, bases-clearing double off Jose Leclerc after Hamels had been lifted after just 81 pitches.
Anyhow, it was a step in the right direction and just think of how many more times you can run Hamels out there against Baltimore as you try to gain ground on Boston, New York...
Up Next: Martin Perez makes his return to the rotation as he aims to prevent this year from becoming a total lost season. Against Perez, the Orioles will counter with RHP Yefry Ramirez. First pitch from Camden Yards is scheduled for 6:15 pm CT.