Texas Rangers

Red Sox 19, Rangers 17

Artist's rendering of Scott Feldman.

You know how you know when you really, really suck? When you score two touchdowns and a field goal and still find a way to lose.

Oh yeah, and you’re a baseball team!

The Rangers’ horrific pitching sank to historic depths Tuesday night, turning the most important game of the year into a debacle for the ages in a 19-17 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Only seven games behind Boston in the Wild Card chase with still ¼ of the season left, Texas spanked the Sox to the tune of 20 hits and actually erased two 10-run – that’s right, two ten-run -- deficits.

But, etching yet another black mark on what will surely be the Rangers’ 2008 tombstone, atrocious pitching negated fantastic offense. It's a shame. Because although the spunky Rangers are gritty gamers who are fun to watch and have supplied us with a decade's worth of memorable comeback wins, the indelible image of 2008 will be the Boston Massacre.

Starter Scott Feldman struck out Boston’s Kevin Youkilis twice in the first inning. Of course, sandwiched around those Ks he allowed two 3-run homers by David Ortiz and 10 runs, setting a Rangers’ record for runs surrendered in a first inning.

Amazingly, the Rangers battled back from down 10-0 and 12-2 to take a 16-15 lead into the bottom of the 8th. But only six outs from one of the most improbable rallies in Major League history, reliever Frank Francisco promptly walked the leadoff batter and ultimately allowed a 3-run homer by Youkalis.

The Rangers, whose 5.37 ERA is by far the worst in the league, are the first AL team in at least 50 years to score 17 runs and lose. In their history they have scored 15 or more runs in a game 52 times.

Thanks to last night, they are now 51-1.

And thanks to their pathetic pitching, their playoff hopes are history. -- Richie Whitt