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Rangers Blast From the Past: A near miracle comeback at Beantown gets “Youk’ed”

Rangers Blast From the Past: A near miracle comeback at Beantown gets “Youk’ed”

The 2008 Texas Rangers are a casual baseball fan’s dream team to watch (with no horse in the race). I say this because in 2008, the Rangers were the only team to score 900 or more runs (901), averaging 5.56 runs a game. On the flip side, Texas’ ERA, as a team, was 5.37 and was the only team in 2008 to allow 900 or more runs (967). So, bottom line, a game like August 12th, 2008 in Boston wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.

It started as poor as it could for the Rangers. The Red Sox put a historic ten-run first inning against Rangers’ starter Scott Feldman. It was Boston’s first ten run inning since June 27th, 2003 against the Florida Marlins at Fenway Park. The inning was highlighted by two three-run home runs by David Ortiz. I remember watching this game, and dinner finished right before the first pitch. After the ten-run inning, the Rangers scored two on rookie Chris Davis’ two-run single off Charlie Zink, who made his MLB debut that night.

After the second inning, my family essentially called it quits on the game. The only televisions available to watch were the living room and my parents’ rooms. No, our family did not tune in to a reality show called “my sons can clean the garage faster than yours” (a joke by Red Sox announcer Jerry Remy, RIP). Every 20-30 minutes after the second inning, I remember going to check and see what was happening. Then about the fourth check, it was the fifth inning, and Frank Catalanotto doubled to make it a 12-6 game. I thought to myself, no way are the Rangers going to come back down 10-0. I go back to my parent’s TV about 20-30 minutes later, and it’s 12-10 Boston. With that observation, I stayed and watched the rest of it.

I got weary because the Red Sox added another two runs on a home run by Kevin Youkilis, putting Boston up 14-10. However, the Rangers offense didn’t step off the gas pedal. Texas scored five runs in the sixth inning on four hits, an error, and two sacrifice flies. Ian Kinser’s sacrifice fly officially put the Rangers up 15-14 and completed a ten-run comeback. Both teams traded a run in the seventh inning as the game went to the bottom of the eighth inning, 16-15 Rangers. Texas’ manager Ron Washington brought out Frank Francisco in his second year managing the club to start the eighth. Francisco entered the night with thirteen holds in forty appearances. The inning started OK, recording two outs while walking Jacoby Ellsbury. After Dustin Pedroia drove in a run with a double, Washington decided to walk David Ortiz. It was the right call considering Ortiz homered twice in the game. However, Francisco hung a 2-0 slider to Kevin Youkilis with shouts of “Youk” happening. The Red Sox regained the lead 19-16.

Texas had to fight against Jonathan Papelbon, going for his 32nd save of the season. Texas didn’t go down quietly. Marlon Byrd reached on a Youkilis error, and Brandon Boggs drove him in by going the other way with a fastball. Texas had the tying run at the plate with one out, but Papelbon got Gerald Laird to fly out and Chris Davis to lineout. The Rangers couldn’t pick up the win despite erasing a ten-run hole after one inning. The Red Sox prevailed 19-17. “Yea, in college. I think a lot of times,” Youkilis said after the game when asked if he’s ever been a part of a game like this. It remains one of the best games I’ve watched, and a reason why it’s not over until the twenty-seventh out is made.

Interesting notes:

  • That night was the Major League Debut for Red Sox starter, Charlie Zink. It was the only big-league appearance Zink ever made and he was two outs away from picking up a victory. He allowed eight runs in four and third innings.
  • In his MLB career, David Ortiz never had a three home-run game. It seemed inevitable after hitting two in the first. Ortiz came inches away from his third, but in the fifth inning, third base umpire Kerwin Danley called fan interference. Ortiz remains as one of three guys who are in the 500 home run club that have never hit three home runs in a game (Rafael Palmeiro and Gary Sheffield)
  • There was an off-day the day before. In the Rangers’ previous game (Sunday, August 10th), they put 15 runs on the board in Baltimore against the Orioles.
  • This game was part of a turmoil for the Rangers. After August 5th’s win, The Rangers were 60-54. They dropped fourteen of their next seventeen games, including getting swept in this series vs. Boston.
  • The Rangers went 0-7 at Fenway Park against the Red Sox in 2008 and 1-9 overall against Boston. Texas scored 53 runs in the ten games, but 32 of those 53 runs in two games (this game and their only win, September 6th, where they won 15-8).
  • Marlon Byrd was in the middle of a ridiculous stretch. Byrd went 5 for 6 in this game. He had an eight-game span where he went 21 for 34 (.618). That stretch included an 0 for 3 and the walk-off grand slam we all remember against the Yankees.
  • It was the second time in 2008 that the Rangers allowed nineteen runs. Texas allowed fifteen or more runs in six games during the 2008 season.
  • Scott Feldman became the first pitcher to allow twelve runs and not lose the game since 1918 when Cardinals’ Gene Packard allowed twelve runs in eight and a third innings against Philadelphia (St. Louis won 16-12 in game one of a doubleheader).
  • The game still clocked in at under four hours (time of game was 3:58)

Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. I talk about things. Find me on the tweeter @aplinckTX

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