Trailing 12-11 in the bottom of the 9th, with two outs and a full count -- right before Adrian Beltre flew out to end the game -- the Hall-of-Fame voice of our favorite team, Eric Nadel, said: "You can't say the Rangers don't fight until the final out."
The Rangers are 42-65.
J.P. Arencibia continued his torrid power pace since being recalled from Triple-A, going 4-5 with 2 HRs, 2 2Bs and a career-high seven RBI. On the season he's still hitting a putrid .183/.223/.404, but with 5 HRs and 16 RBI since returning from his minor league hiatus, at least he's doing something.
Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios each went 3-5, and combined to see 59 pitches in 12 plate appearances. For two players not known for their plate discipline, that's pretty cool. This is likely Rios's final showcase as a Ranger, so it's nice to see him exit on a high note.
Speaking of exits, Neal Cotts allowed two runs via a homer to Mark Teixeira, who unironically was moved by the Rangers at the trade deadline back in 2007. Neal hasn't been as effective from a run-prevention perspective in 2014 (3.52 ERA) as he was last year (1.11 ERA), but as a lefty who we expected literally nothing from when Texas acquired him, he's been a success story in Arlington. I will miss watching him pitch.
There was a point in the game when the Rangers led 4-1, but after a seven-run 7th from the Yankees, Texas was playing catch-up the rest of the way. The lead ballooned to 10-4 before Arencibia's grand slam in the bottom half of the 7th, and 12-8 after Teixeira's homer in the 8th. In the bottom of the 9th, the Rangers rallied against one of baseball's best relief pitchers -- David Robertson -- before ultimately falling short on the last pitch.
We're a longtime removed from this team being competitive in 2014, and a loss is a loss is a loss. Wins don't mean anything at this point. In fact, I actively hope this team loses significantly more games than they win between now and the end of the regular season.
But for one night, tonight, the Rangers exemplified -- contrary to the opinion of some fans -- that they do still fight. They haven't given up. Shame on me for throwing in the towel far too long ago, but the reason we love the Rangers is because they give us moments like tonight. In the past they've given us reason to love baseball, and tonight they showed us that even in a lost season, they haven't given up on any of us.