The game is tied 4-4 going into the 11th inning in Arlington. The Houston Astros are in town, the Texas Rangers’ inter-state “rival”. The Rangers were down 4-3 in the eighth inning and Josh Hamilton tied the ballgame with a solo home-run. In the 10th inning batters Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, Michael Young, and Nelson Cruz were unable to put a run on the board. After two outstanding innings from Neftali Feliz, Yoshinori Tateyama pitched a scoreless hit-less top of the 11th inning. The first batter of the bottom of the frame, Mitch Moreland – hits a walk-off home run to right field. Game over.
Moreland’s home run came a day after the ballpark featured the Nelson Cruz Walk-Off Bobblehead, but Moreland has always been late to the party. Mitch, after-all was selected in the 17th round of the 2007 amateur draft. I had heard people say that the Rangers were even more excited about Moreland, than the famous Justin Smoak. After Smoak left in the Cliff Lee trade, we all assumed Chris Davis was the first baseman of the future. I’m glad I was wrong.
Prior to Tuesday’s game Moreland is batting .296/.481/358 with an OPS of .840. Not necessarily dominating, but a very consistent hitter, especially in the Texas Rangers inconsistent offense. He works hard at the plate, and grinds out at-bats. It’s been amazing watching him grow. Most fans in DFW have been stuck in a sports-hangover after the Mavericks win, I think everyone may be paying attention to the Rangers again.