For the second day in a row, the Texas Rangers were unable to take care of business on their home field against the Houston Astros, getting blown out 10-3 on Thursday night.
The Rangers' optimism that they had earlier in the week is all but gone. They returned home to Arlington with a 2-0 series lead in the ALCS, only to let the Astros roar back and even the series.
Now both teams face a pivotal Game 5 tonight before the series shifts back to Houston. The winner of this game will likely take the series.
But before we get into that, let's reflect on the some of the Texas players that stood out (good and bad) in Game 4.
Dud: Andrew Heaney
You have to admit, you could kind of see this one coming. The Astros were the best team in baseball against left-handed pitchers this year, and according to my notes, Andrew Heaney is left-handed.
Sure, Heaney pitched well against the Baltimore Orioles in Game 1 of the ALDS, but that was nearly two weeks ago. Twelve days passed between that start and Game 4, which is a long layoff for a pitcher. Bruce Bochy must have forgot about him, I guess, but even some bullpen work to stay fresh would've helped.
Instead, Heaney was incredibly rusty for Game 4, and it showed. Houston pounded him from the start. The first four batters he faced all notched a hit, and suddenly the Rangers were down 3-0 in the blink of an eye.
The worst part is that Heaney didn't even finish the inning. After inducing a pair of groundouts, he walked Chas McCormick to put runners on second and third. Bochy had seen enough and went to his bullpen, sending Heaney to an early shower.
Heaney's rough first inning set the tone for the rest of the game. The Astros were off to the races and went on to score 10 runs. Texas fell behind early and never truly recovered. The crowd got taken out of it, and Bochy had to burn through five relievers to cover the rest of the game.
If you're going to be bad, fine, but at least give us a couple of innings.