The Rangers lost an absolute heartbreaker to the Angels last night 11-10 in eleven innings. Texas had staged a pretty decent comeback after being down 10-4 in the fourth inning, thanks to tater tots by Marlon Byrd and Max Ramirez and some stellar shutout bullpennery by Eddie Guardado, C.J. Wilson, and Frank Francisco. Texas skipper (and Josh Hamilton favorite) Ron Washington was ejected in the seventh for arguing that Chris Davis' RBI double should have been a home run, and bench coach Art Howe took over.
Reliever Jamey Wright allowed the go-ahead run to the Angels in the top of the 11th, but the Rangers had a chance to score in the home half. Brandon Boggs led off with a walk and catcher Max Ramirez attempted a sac bunt. Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez fumbled the ball, though, and Texas was set up with runners on first and second with no outs and HOTTEST HITTER IN THE LEAGUE Ian Kinsler coming up.
So what does Grandpa Art Howe do? He has Kinsler attempt a bunt, which of course is popped up to the pitcher for the first out. Ramon Vazquez struck out and Michael Young grounded out to end the game. I think it's ridiculous to play for the tie down one run at home with the hottest hitter in baseball at the dish, but Walkoff Walk friend Evan Grant sees it both ways:
If Kinsler swings away, there is a better-than-zero chance of a double-play grounder and also the chance that while he gets the tying run to third base, maybe the winning run doesn't get into scoring position. And the Rangers were trying to win the game in the 11th. They really didn't have enough pitching to go much further.
Good point, but how do you weigh the chances of a GIDP against the chances that Kinsler will be unable to bunt against a 99 MPH throwing K-Rod?