Best moment of the night.
Because after Pudge threw to second base, Texas gave up more than five runs for the first time in 2012. Dropped its first series opener of the season. Suffered its first loss of more than one run.
Given what we’ve seen so far this year, New York 7, Texas 4 felt like a blowout loss, even though the game ended with the potential tying run on deck.
The good news is that Derek Holland fought through a bad outing, and saved the bullpen with Yu Darvish and Scott Feldman slated to go tonight and tomorrow, when pitch counts (especially against the Yankees and their gilded patience at the plate) are likely to be an issue.
Even with the loss, the Rangers sit at 13-4, matching the franchise’s best record through 17 games, also achieved in 1989 and 1996.
The first of those years was Jim Sundberg’s final season as a player, a year in which he teamed with rookie Chad Kreuter behind the plate for Texas while a chunky 17-year-old played his first professional season, catching for the Low A Gastonia Rangers, who dominated the South Atlantic League with a 92-48 record.
The second of those was the Rangers’ first playoff team, a 90-win bunch with a 24-year-old at catcher, a kid who was already in his sixth big league season, earning his fifth All-Star selection, his fifth Gold Glove, his third Silver Slugger award, and his first top 10 MVP finish.
That 1996 season ended with Pudge Rodriguez and Texas winning the first game of the ALDS in Yankee Stadium, before New York won the next three and moved on.
The Rangers won the first, lost the rest.
Maybe Texas can reverse that these next two nights.