Those baseball gods sure do have a sense of humor, don’t they?
The Texas Rangers were three hours away from their first off day since June 15 and their first night since June 14 where they could tear it up without having to worry about playing a game the next day.
And then it rained.
The Rangers finally started the final game of their stretch of 20 games in 20 days after a delay of 1 hour, 26 minutes. Andrew Cashner started fast on the mound, the offense started almost as fast at the plate, and the Rangers headed into their day off with a W.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from an 8-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
1. Fittingly, Cashner delivered his finest performance of the season on TCU Night and with men’s hoops coach Jamie Dixon watching from the front row in the owners’ seats.
Cashner didn’t allow a hit until two outs in the sixth inning. It was a two-run homer by Xander Bogaerts after Pete Kozma dropped an easy throw at first base for what would have been the final out.
Would Cashner have tossed a no-hitter if not for the error? Oh, probably not. But it would have been fun for him to get into the seventh inning with a no-no going.
The key is that the former TCU star played stopper, as he put an end to a three-game losing streak and a six-game skid to the Red Sox. The Rangers were on the cusp of losing a season series of four-or-more games for the first time in team history.
Cashner was aided by ample run support. It was 8-0 when Bogaerts connected. That kind of cushion makes life a lot easy on a pitcher, but Cashner locked up the Red Sox their first two times up before the Rangers started scoring against Doug Fister.
Cashner, who allowed just those two unearned runs in seven innings, said that he was also supported by his best sinker of the season.
The performance Cashner turned in is the kind the Rangers need to see from the rotation as they evaluate the club ahead of the trade deadline. If the starters are clicking, the Rangers have a chance to vault into serious contention for a wild-card spot.
If not, and Cashner is still pitching like he did Wednesday, maybe he becomes trade bait at the July 31 deadline. He was traded away last year by San Diego. Multiple teams out there like this guy’s stuff.
He was as good as he’s been all season against Boston.
2. Just when Rougned Odor starts to hit, he gets hit.
The good news is that Odor has been diagnosed with a bruised left hand after Robby Scott hit him in the fifth inning. If it was bothering enough to have to leave the game early, it might cost him a game this weekend.
“There’s nothing broken,” Odor assured after the game. “It really hurt.”
The same can be said for Joey Gallo, who also left early as his left hamstring flared up on him again. That leg really needs the All-Star break.
If Odor is out Friday and if Elvis Andrus remains on the paternity list, Kozma would likely start at second base. If Andrus returns, Jurickson Profar would start.
Then again, the Thursday off day might magically cure Odor. Or he might just glare at the bruise until it stops hurting out of fear.
Whenever he plays again, he will be carrying an eight-game hitting streak in which he has four home runs and only nine strikeouts. Six of those came Monday and Tuesday. His two-run homer in the second inning got the Rangers rolling.
For those wondering when Odor would finally break out, and for those who wanted him shipped at once to Triple A Round Rock, we could be watching the beginning of his turnaround.
3. Andrus is on the verge of becoming a father, and the advent of the paternity list is allowing him to be bedside or maybe even under center as the baby boy enters the world.
Good for him and his wife, and if Andrus was going to miss time, I’m guessing he has no complaints that it was for this blessed event.
However, the move to the paternity list marks the first time in Andrus’ career that he hasn’t been on the Rangers’ active roster. He’s in his ninth season.
That’s a remarkable note, a staggering note, and points to something that we here at Rangers Reaction have long believed: Andrus doesn’t get nearly enough credit for how durable he has been.
Think about it: A player who runs wild on the bases, dives into bases and hits the dirt at shortstop has never been on the disabled list. Never. Not even for something freak, like slamming his finger in a door or cutting his hand slicing a steak or slipping in the shower.
He probably could have used the DL last season as he started to be bothered in May by a groin injury that morphed into a sports hernia. But he kept playing and running, though more mindful of choosing the best time to run.
Life is about to change dramatically for him. Say goodbye to uninterrupted sleep, and say hello to responsibilities he probably has never imagined.
At some point, that boy is going to throw up all over Andrus and need to be cleaned up first. In a few years, that boy will mimic everything Andrus does and says. (Hint: Watch your mouth.)
“Welcome to the real life,” Carlos Gomez said. “You love many people, your parents, your wife, your brothers. But it’s a different love when you have your own kids. It’s a big responsibility. You have to change, zero to 100. They’re going to copy everything you do, so you have to make sure everything you do is right.”
That journey for Andrus is imminent.