What started as a playoff atmosphere in May, was quickly dampened by a first inning rainstorm. CJ Wilson's highly anticipated return to Arlington, after signing with the Los Angeles Angels this past offseason, did not live up to the hype.
But the Texas Rangers refused to let their anxious, record-breaking, seventh straight sellout crowd -- who all stayed through a two hour downpour -- go home without a good show.
Yu Darvish started the would-be pitcher's duel correctly by pitching a scoreless first, striking out two and breaking Albert Pujols' bat for the other out. But Wilson could not follow suit.
After striking out Ian Kinsler, Wilson gave up three straight singles that scored Elvis Andrus, and then walked Michael Young to load the bases. It was here that the rain started and Wilson's night ended.
Play would resume two hours later and the Rangers downright abused the fresh arm of Jerome Williams. He allowed Wilson's three remaining baserunners to score, and then gave up two earned runs himself. Williams' final line would be 6 2/3 innings pitched, with six earned runs on 11 hits, and wasn't too much worse than Wilson's 1/3 inning and four earned runs on three hits.
Wilson's return, although not quite the shellacking Rangers fans had hoped for, was still somewhat sweet for fans, as his ERA against the Rangers is now 108.00. Yes, the decimal point is in the correct place. And yes, this is a very small sample size.
Darvish though, continued pitching after the delay and went on to have a decent outing, especially considering the delay was really two and half hours for him. His final line was 5 1/3 innings with three runs on three hits and seven strikeouts to three walks.
Josh Hamilton became the real story of the game as he continued his monstrous week, belting his 16th and 17th home runs of the season. That now gives him eight home runs in his last five games. This past week has more closely resembled Hamilton's 2008 awe-inspiring Home Run Derby performance than what a usual "great week" looks like. Nine home runs and 25 RBI secured an April AL Player of the Month Award for Hamilton. He has eight home runs and 14 RBI this week, and still has two more games to play.
But the ridiculousness doesn't stop there. Hamilton's two home runs last night give him 17 through 33 games. Only two other players in the history of major league baseball have accomplished this feat. Frank Howard for the Senators in 1968 and Cy Williams for the Phillies in 1923. Not a bad way to follow up a four-homer game earlier this week. Of course, a whopping 16 players have done that.
Rangers fans were definitely pleased with Hamilton and Darvish's performances, but were undoubtedly disappointed that Wilson wasn't the true victim, as evidenced by their seventh inning chant of "WE - WANT - CEE - JAY!!"
They'll get their wish today though, as Wilson is now the projected starter for this afternoon's game.