The Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays opened their ALDS rematch Thursday afternoon at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Things couldn't have gone much better for the Blue Jays against Game 1 starter Cole Hamels, who gave up seven runs in only 3 1/3 innings (GameTracker).
Toronto broke the game open in the third inning, when they scored their first five runs. The big blow was Troy Tulowitzki's bases-clearing triple, which Ian Desmond misplayed in center field. He slowed down because he thought he was close to the wall, and the ball dropped in. Here's the video.
Tulowitzki's fly ball, if caught, would have ended the inning and limited the damage to two runs. Instead of escaping the inning down two, the Rangers were down five. Brutal.
Was it a routine play? No. But it sure appeared to be a makeable play. Desmond pulled up at the last moment, even though he still had plenty of room to make the catch. He might have crashed into the wall doing so, but hey, sometimes you have to crash into the wall.
Anyway, after Tulowitzki's triple broke things open, Twitter took Desmond to task and had some fun at his expense. A few of the best:
Ian Desmond, this is you.#Rangers#BlueJays#ALDSpic.twitter.com/vocua7vRrS— Kolby Solinsky (@KolbySolinsky) October 6, 2016
Live action shot of #IanDesmond in the outfield #OurMoment#ALDS#GoBirdsGopic.twitter.com/P3TQztDezg— Scott Leybourne (@Scott_Leybourne) October 6, 2016
Ian Desmond going after that ball like#ALDSpic.twitter.com/XoBrRmkoEv— Gabe (@925mlbfan) October 6, 2016
Ian Desmond pic.twitter.com/EgZMSiGx5T— ALDS (@Don_inFarrhaven) October 6, 2016
@timandsid Ian Desmond running around centre field like... pic.twitter.com/dtp11MdZW4— Sean McGee (@Sean_Guy8) October 6, 2016
Ian Desmond, this is you.#Rangers#BlueJays#ALDSpic.twitter.com/5bQlBrLCwV— Kolby Solinsky (@KolbySolinsky) October 6, 2016
Free advice for the Rangers: Maybe stop playing the natural center fielder (Carlos Gomez) in left and the natural shortstop (Desmond) in center. Gomez in fact went on to make a wall-crashing grab to end the sixth inning with a man stranded on second base.
Could the Rangers have still been in the game had Gomez been manning center field on that big Tulowitzki fly ball in the third? We'll never know.