There was a time when Ruben Sierra was one of my favorite baseball players on the planet. Or, at least I sure thought he was, since I’m pretty sure I’d never seen the Texas Rangers play a single game of baseball at that juncture of my life. Sierra’s baseball cards managed to get into basically every single pack of Donruss or Topps or Upper Deck I picked up as a t-ball playing knucklehead at that time, however, so I was pretty certain he was a huge deal.
Come to think of it, I’m still not entirely certain I’ve ever seen the Texas Rangers play baseball. Yeah, yeah, there was Nelson Cruz and Pudge Rod and A-Rod and Josh Hamilton and Kenny Rogers and that dude with the mustache and...OK, so I’ve seen them play a time or three. Still, that doesn’t do much to dissuade my sentiment that they might be the one team in all of baseball who I’ve paid the least amount of attention to in my lifetime, and tonight they’ll be in GABP taking on our Cincinnati Reds.
There is no Cruz, no Pudge, no Michael Young, no Julio Franco on this Rangers squad, but that doesn’t mean they still haven’t found a way to be 4 games over the .500 mark at this juncture of the season. They’ve been fueled by a veteran renaissance, too, with ageless wonders like Hunter Pence, Shin-Soo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Logan Forsythe thumping their way through opposing pitchers. And even without Joey Gallo - he’s on the 10-day IL with an oblique strain - this should be a series full of work for the Cincinnati pitching staff.
Tonight’s matchup will feature Jesse Chavez on the bump for Texas to begin the game opposite Reds starter Tyler Mahle, as Cincinnati looks to distance itself from the last place Pittsburgh Pirates and finally begin to pick up ground on the leaders of the NL Central division. You may notice Chavez has primarily been a reliever in his career, and that’s certainly still the case - Texas is using him as an ‘opener’ tonight, so we’ll see how that plays out for them.
First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.