Rangers 4, Twins 3: Cole De Vries Out-Pitches Roy Oswalt, Bullpen Blows It With Two Outs In Ninth

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 08: (L-R) Adrian Beltre #29, David Murphy #7, Elvis Andrus #1 and Ian Kinsler #5 of the Texas Rangers react after thunder and a lightning strike during play against the Minnesota Twins at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on July 8, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Based off of what I said this afternoon in the pregame, you'd think that Cole De Vries out-pitching Roy Oswalt wouldn't be a big deal. But it kind of is. Oswalt has won 161 games in a very distinguished career that includes three All-Star appearances and six times receiving Cy Young votes. De Vries, meanwhile, was making just the fifth start of his professional career and 159 wins short of the longtime Houston hurler. And Oswalt, to his credit, actually turned in a solid performance.

And that's what made De Vries' performance so great. He went toe-to-toe with one of the game's best pitchers over the last twelve years, holding the Rangers scoreless across seven innings. De Vries allowed just three hits and a walk in 84 pitches. There isn't too much more you can say about his outstanding performance, and it's one hell of a way to exit the first half of the season.

By now we all know that Glen Perkins blew a 3-0 lead with two outs in the ninth inning, leading Texas and Minnesota to use whatever was left of their pitching staff from last night. It all came to a head in the bottom of the 13th, when the Rangers finally made good on their permanent threat to score in extras. Brian Dozier made a good throw home with the bases loaded and nobody out to keep the game alive momentarily, giving us all hope for a double play, but in the end it was just too much. A single into the gap ended it.

Also, this happened. Which led to this:

At the time of this writing, that had only been re-tweeted 451 times.

Both sides had opportunities, much like last night, to own this game within the nine innings allowed to mortal baseball games. It's a shame that the Twins dropped both games of this series in extra innings, because it realistically could have been Minnesota sweeping the American League's permanent resident of the World Series in their own ballpark.

C'est la vie. Let's just call this one a night.

Notes, studs, and duds after the jump.

Notes

  • The rain delay resulting from angels bowling directly above the ballpark lasted 47 minutes.
  • Go back to the video of that thunderclap. Notice how Nolan Ryan is the only man in the entire park who doesn't even move? Nolan Ryan makes Chuck Norris bleed, because Nolan Ryan isn't a badass in the movies. Nolan Ryan is a badass in real life. Cockroaches and Nolan Ryan will survive a nuclear holocaust. If Nolan Ryan was on the island in LOST, John Locke would have been his sidekick.
  • Between the Twins and the Rangers, 11 relievers were used, throwing a combined 12.2 innings.
  • Casey Fien threw a scoreless eighth in his Minnesota debut.
  • David Murphy was intentionally walked twice, so that the Twins pitcher could face Mike Napoli. Which is odd, even if it was strategically sound. Walking Murphy...to get to Napoli. Huh.
  • Justin Morneau had a home run taken away from him in the fourth inning. By the wind. That was two runs off the board.
  • Trevor Plouffe nor Josh Willingham homered.
Studs
Cole De Vries
Casey Fien

Duds
Glen Perkins
Alex Burnett
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