Extra Bases: On Profar and his unlikely lift
Only once in major league history has a player hit a pinch-hit, walk-off homer before turning 21 years old. That player was future Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx, who did it in 1928 while pinch hitting for another future Hall of Famer, Mickey Cochrane.
Eighty-five years later, the 20-year-old phenom Profar kept the Rangers' playoff hopes alive with a walk-off home run to beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-5. The Rangers stay a game behind Cleveland and two behind Tampa Bay in the wild-card race with three games left.
Profar hasn't been much of a factor lately. His last start came Sept. 18 against Tampa Bay when he failed to turn a double play and the Rays' next hitter, Sean Rodriguez, tied the game with a home run. The Rays went on to win that game, 3-2, in 12 innings in what was probably the Rangers' most crushing loss of the season.
(Not pinning that loss on Profar. There were other contributing factors, but ...)
Profar pinch hit Monday in a 12-0 victory over Houston. He's had only 14 at-bats since Sept. 8. He'd become a bit of an afterthought.
He got his chance to be a factor in the playoff race Thursday. The youngest player in the majors crushed the third pitch he saw down the right-field line for a game-winning home run.
Who will be the Rangers' hero Friday night?
WHAT'S UP NOW: Rapid Reaction from the Rangers' 6-5 victory over the Angels. Jean-Jacques Taylor opines on Profar's walk-off homer. Plus, the Rangers overcame a four-error inning to survive Thursday night.
ON DECK: In what could be the toughest game to win of the four-game series, right-hander Alexi Ogando tries to stay hot against Angels lefty and former teammate C.J. Wilson at 7:05 p.m. Friday night at Rangers Ballpark.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Who will lose first, Cleveland or Tampa Bay?
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.