In dramatic fashion, last night’s 2-1 Texas Rangers’ win over the Detroit Tigers was a perfect example of the past meeting the present.
All decked-out in their 1970s powder-blue retro uniforms, it was fresh-faced rookie Mike Olt (born in 1988) who provided the offensive jolt to fuel the walk-off win.
Did Mike Olt just turn into the “Oltimate Warrior”?
I’m pretty sure the transformation is complete, friends…
And let’s not forget about Derek Holland, either.
I’m sure we all predicted that Dutch—who has been homer-prone and largely ineffective all season—was going to go toe-to-toe with Justin Verlander.
And when Austin Jackson led off the first inning with a home run, we all knew that ‘ole Dutchy was going to settle down just fine, right?
Baseball is a crazy, bizarre, occasionally unsettling, always challenging, and prolifically unpredictable game. And somehow all of those things make us love it that much more—especially after a Rangers’ win as exhilarating as that one.
Yu Darvish (11-8, 4.72) takes the ball for Texas, with right-hander Rick Porcello (9-6, 4.62) on the hill for Detroit.
This will be Porcello’s third start against the Rangers this season, and his second at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
At Comerica Park on April 21, Porcello was blistered, bruised, and beaten badly. He lasted just one inning while allowing 8 earned runs on 10 hits.
Two months later in Arlington, Porcello pitched well, scattering six hits over six innings while striking out seven to pick up the win.
The 24-year-old from Morristown, New Jersey, has a career mark of 2-2 with an 8.47 ERA against the Rangers.
I don’t buy into the notion that Yu Darvish is wilting in the Texas heat. Sure, he’s 1-4 with a 7.04 ERA since July, but I don’t think the sweltering summer conditions are to blame. What with global warming and all, it’s hot everywhere…yes, even in Japan. In other words, Darvish has handled the heat before.
For The Yu, his problems are the same-old, same-old. Poor fastball command gets him behind in the count, he tries to pour one in the zone for a strike, then gets too much of the plate…Thwack.
It’s not like his stuff is the issue. He somehow struck out nine in Boston while also surrendering seven doubles. It’s way too early to label him as a “nibbler” but he definitely needs to improve his command while challenging hitters during pitcher’s counts.
This will be Darvish’s third start against the Detroit Tigers. He’s 2-0 with a 3.37 ERA. Yu’s last start against the men from Motown was arguably the finest of his career, as he walked just one—the only time all season he hasn’t given out at least two free passes—while scattering four hits and notching 10 strikeouts.