David versus Goliath stories are typically really nice, feel-good stories in which a young, inexperienced, and by all accounts overmatched “little guy” fights against one of the “big guys” and wins. Then, there are the times when Goliath is still a 9-foot giant with a 15-pound spear head that completes his mission for which he has been trained – to destroy David.
The Texas Rangers met the Baltimore Orioles in a Monday night game in Baltimore in a clash between two of the best three teams by record in the American League. Unfortunately for Baltimore, they are a less skilled team than the Rangers, and they were fresh off of playing a 16-inning game on Sunday night in which they used so many relief pitchers it took a first baseman pitching two innings to finish the game. They won that game, by the way.
On Monday night, however, the combination of the Orioles’ exhaustion, extra work, and over-performance was displayed in grand form on the field, as the Rangers methodically clobbered Baltimore 14-3. Each member of the Rangers lineup had a hit, and as a team they amassed 19 hits on the night, 3 of which were home runs. The pinnacle of the night was a 7-run 9th inning. As if to rub salt in an open wound, former Oriole and current Ranger backup Brandon Snyder from neighboring Northern Virginia was the hero of the game, tallying three hits, a home run, and six RBI.
The Rangers Matt Harrison surrendered three runs on two home runs, but apart from that was effective and efficient, requiring just 86 pitches to work through 7 innings. After Harrison completed his work, Alexi Ogando and Mark Lowe stepped in firing 96-mph fastballs with some groovy armside run and mid-80s sliders with bite. The Rangers bullpen can be scary good, and the Orioles all too graciously appeased Lowe with three straight strikeouts to end the game.
The Rangers, Orioles, and Tampa Bay Rays are all now even with a 19-10 record atop the American League. The Rangers have a significant advantage in run differential for the season, sitting at a +58 mark to the Orioles +23 and the Rays +12. No team has scored more runs in the AL than the Rangers, and no team has allowed so few to score against them. Texas is marching on like a Goliath.
The Orioles were overmatched on Monday, and rightfully so. It would have taken a Herculean, nay, Davidian effort to overcome the task they were faced with on Monday night. Unfortunately for Baltimore, they arrived without a single smooth stone to put in their sling. They’ll look to load up for a new battle on Tuesday night.