ARLINGTON, Texas -- So how unlikely was Jurickson Profar's walk-off home run Thursday night?
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?