By: Nicholas Gilanfar
An energized Globe Life Crowd and brisk open roof weather did not do the trick for game four of the ALCS as the Rangers squandered their chances of winning and evidently lost game four 10-3. After the Rangers leading the series 2-0, we now find ourselves in a critical position as Houston was able to win two games on the road to tie the series at two apiece.
Blowing a two-game lead is always critical but nothing is more critical than dropping the lead to the Houston Astros who live for these dire situations in October as they are the defending world series champions and have punched their ticket to seven straight ALCS berths.
Chaos in the first three innings
Although the Rangers let their guard down by letting up three runs in the first inning, the historic Ranger offense was able to respond and revive Globe Life Field as the energy was let out of the stadium at that point. The first inning was disastrous to say the least for Andrew Heaney and the Texas Rangers as Heaney was nodded at the starter for game four and threw close to 35 pitches while only pitching 0.2 inning letting up four hits and three runs making it clear that he did not have anything going.
The 3-0 deficit laid heavy in the hearts of Ranger fans as the energy in the stadium was immediately gone as the Ranger Faithful could not comprehend what went wrong with Andrew Heaney and his underwhelming pitching performance. On the offensive end, the Rangers kept the same energy as they were still deflated almost like they were feeling sorry for themselves as the crowd was officially out of it amidst the slow start.
The Starting pitcher of the Texas Rangers Andrew Heaney was tossed after 0.2 inning so in comes Dane Dunning as it was notably planned that he would tandem with Heaney for game four. Dunning would close out the first inning, then throw a scoreless inning in the second which was not pretty as he threw close to 20 pitches in that frame.
With both combined starters throwing close to 50 pitches, hope was starting to run out until the fans started to wake up and pandemonium started to take place in Globe Life Field. In the second inning the momentum began to change as OF AdolisGarcia was out to bat as he smoked the ball into the stands closing in onto a 3-1 deficit logging his third home run of the season. The inning ended up dragging all the way to the eight hitters where Josh Jung resided as he was able to continue the noise with his bat after two home runs in game three by bringing in an RBI single to close in a 3-2 lead to go into the third as we officially stumped Houston Pitcher Jose Urquidy.
Going into the third inning, Dane Dunning was able to keep his composure and record another scoreless inning as all of the momentum was with the Texas Rangers as the crowd was making it rough for Houston. On to the bottom of the third, the moment Rangers fans didn’t believe things could be better than this, it then was as Corey Seager was at-bat and went yard as he secured a 3-3 tie for the Rangers as well as recording his second home run of the postseason. Globe Life Field became a war zoneat that point as the entire stadium was up on their feet rooting on the good guys.
Pitching down the stretch takes a turn for the worst
After an electric two innings for the Texas Rangers on the offensive end, it was officially a new ballgame in which quality pitching was dire in order for the Rangers to pull it off. As Dane Dunning continued to pitch for Texas, it was tough sailing for him as he loaded the bases and was eventually taken out of the game after going 2.2 innings and letting up three hits and three runs.
With the bases loaded with no outs, Cody Bradford has pitched five innings so far, letting up 0 runs. The first batter Bradford faced was the Astros key to success the dangerous DH Yordan Alverez who has been hitting over a .400 batting average. With the bases loaded Alverez takes the ball deep to record a sac fly giving the Astros a 4-3 lead. Following Alvarez’s at-bat was 1B Jose Abreu as there were base runners occupying first and third. Abreu battles with Bradford for a little bit then eventually finds the pitch he likes and logs a three-run home run to extend the Astro lead 7-3 in the fourth inning as the energy at Globe Life Field then again diminishes.
With the lackluster performance from starting pitching, the Rangers were forced to pitch six guys in the game. Luckily the three bullpen mainstays in Josh Sborz, Aroldis Chapman, and Jose Leclerc were able to get another rest but it is starting to get critical for the Rangers and their hopes at a pennant as it is staring to get dicey.
Looking Forward to Game Five
Game Five will reside in Arlington Texas on Friday October 20that 4:07 PM (CST). The Texas Rangers will give Jordan Montgomery the nod for game five and the Houston Astros will be giving Justin Verlander game five. These two pitches featured in game one as it was an all-out pitching duel as Montgomery let up no runs and Verlander let up two runs with the Rangers ultimately winning game one 2-0.
Photo Via Jared Sandler/X-Twitter