Hats off to McCarthy for a solid start and Benoit for 3 innings of 1 hit ball! That would have been plenty to be excited about.
But then the bottom of the order (which makes it extra phenomenal) starts a 2-out, bottom-of-the-ninth rally against former teammate and recently unhittable Francisco Cordero in which six consecutive batters – Wilkerson, Vazquez, Laird, Lofton, Byrd and Young – all hit singles to cap a 4-run comeback and win 4-3! That’s awesome!
The other thing that’s awesome is Marlon Byrd of late! His AB tonight saw him foul off 3 pitches after falling behind 0-2, and then singling to right off Cordero to drive in the game-tying run! In 14 games played this season since getting the nod May 26, Byrd has a hit in all but 2 games, has a .377 average with 5 multi-hit games, and a .514 OBP through 8 games in June. And this has generally been against teams with solid pitching – DET, OAK, BOS, MIL, SEA. That and an outstanding defensive play tonight and in general are looking like the brightest spot for this team right now.
But, more importantly, a win like this is the type of win this team needs. Younger guys stepped up to get it done. Underachievers contributed to scratch out a win. Finally, the team caught some breaks, and they did it with Tex out.
That means the team has a chance on Sunday to tie a season-high win streak of 3 games. Maybe tonight’s gritty performance will motivate Padilla to get into the bulldog mindset he needs to find to succees Sunday. And if they do, don’t look now, but the Rangers will have a winning record for June (5-4) after having won two consecutive series against two tough teams – DET & MIL.