The Texas Rangers scored an old school seven-run pizza inning off Miles Mikolas in the bottom of the second thanks in part to dingers from Shin-Soo Choo and Rougned Odor. The St. Louis Cardinals would never much threaten all night after that point and the contest settled into your standard baseball game.
This wasn’t standard, however:
That’s Joey Gallo throwing a missile like a dart on a bad hop in center field, from the other side of second base, to nail a swift runner at third base.
In addition to everything else Gallo has been doing to improve himself at the plate enough to become an MVP candidate a quarter of the way through the season (stuff like, you know, leading the league in OPS), he’s now doing something exactly zero people thought was possible from him when he was a maybe-too-tall-for-third base prospect who folks thought would move over to first base eventually.
Joey Gallo is now a center fielder and he’s playing it pretty well and his arm is a legitimate weapon. Joey Gallo has always been a freak of nature but he’s beginning to morph into something Josh Hamiltonian in anomaly proportion.
Player of the Game: Adrian Sampson came in as the post-opener option after Jose Leclerc started the game off with a 1-2-3 first inning and he gave the Rangers 5 1⁄3 innings of two-run ball.
As a traditional start, that wouldn’t appear to anyone as the best outing in the history of the sport or anything, but as a component in this dawning era of getting through innings the best way you can, Sampson did his job. And you know what? His reward for doing so was the first win of his big league career. Congratulations, Adrian Sampson!
Up Next: The Rangers and Cardinals continue their series on Saturday with Texas set to go with
either Jesse Chavez as their opener, Ariel Jurado as their starter, or someone else. Right now the situation could best be described as ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It was supposed to be Chavez in the opener role but he spoke out about how he believes that strategy “isn’t baseball” so the Rangers are apparently reconsidering their options .
The Rangers announced right after the game that Jurado will start.
The Cardinals will have no such drama as they opt for a traditional starter in RHP Dakota Hudson. First pitch from The Ballpark is schedule for 3:05 pm CT.