Game 1, bottom of the 8th, no outs, Santander bats with Texas still ahead 3 to 2
Looking back, this just might be the scariest moment of the series for Rangers fans. Two innings earlier, Santander had taken Dunning deep to put the score back to a one run game in favor of Texas. And after Sborz escaped his drama, the Rangers made the decision to roll with Aroldis Chapman. Throughout his tenure with the Rangers, Chapman has developed quite a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-like pattern. On this particular day, he was ... well, the one that couldn't find the strike zone.
Missing on four straight pitches, he walked Austin Hays to lead off the 8th, putting the tying run immediately on base. His third pitch to Rutschman in the next at bat would skitter away from catcher Jonah Heim, sending Hays to second. Rutschman would complete his plate appearance by drawing a walk, putting the go-ahead run on first and a potential insurance run at the plate with no outs. Next up would be the dangerous Santander up who was already 2-2 on the afternoon, including a homer his previous at bat.
But then as if he'd suddenly found the mojo he needed, Chapman buried a 0-1 four-seamer below the strike zone, and Santander bit. The result was a well-hit grounder that third baseman Josh Jung scooped beautifully to his left. Although his throw went a tad high, he rifled it to Marcus Semien, who then snagged it in the air. He landed on the bag and relayed a bullet to Lowe at first, catching Santander by about a stride's length at first base, completing the 5-4-3 double play and clearing the bases.
Chapman proceeded to finish the inning and his outing with a virtual clean sheet by whiffing Mountcastle on a 1-2 sinker that seemed to rise much more than it sunk. In any case, Chapman worked his way clear of the jam, preserving the lead and even gaining a hold for himself.