Stud: Nathan Eovaldi
While the starting pitchers were one of the big stories of the Wild Card series, that was not even remotely the case as the Rangers took a 2-0 lead against the Orioles.
Andrew Heaney made it only 3.2 innings. Jordan Montgomery went 4.0. They gave up a combined 5 earned runs (1 for Heaney, 4 for Montgomery).
Then came Nathan Eovaldi, who had already dominated in his first postseason start against the Tampa Bay Rays (1 ER, 8 strikeouts in 6.2 innings).
Eovaldi made the Orioles' offense look absolutely pedestrian.
He threw seven scoreless, and honestly looked like he had a complete game in him when the Rangers pulled him.
It was three up, three down in both the sixth and seventh for Eovaldi, and that seventh inning came with a pair of strikeouts.
There weren’t any extra-baggers in the five hits he gave up, and he finished with seven strikeouts in his first ever playoff game at Globe Life.
It's not hard to understand why Eovaldi got the curtain call after seven strong, but there was definitely plenty of allure in the idea of seeing him become the first pitcher since 2017 to record a complete game in the postseason. It really did seem like he had more than enough left in the tank to get there.
Instead, we'll have a fully-rested Eovaldi at our disposal while the starting rotation continues to get healthy as the ALCS approaches.
The Rangers won't need ace-level play from Eovaldi, but another couple performances like this certainly wouldn't hurt either.