The strangest part of last night's game, for a Cubs fan at least, was watching the endless parade of Rangers relievers during their disastrous eighth inning and hearing the name "Clay Rapada".
Clay Rapada was originally signed by the Cubs in 2002 -- as an undrafted free agent. After working his way up through the organization without really distinguishing himself, he had a decent year in 2006, combining for a 1.60 ERA and 1.22 WHIP combined between West Tenn (then the Double-A affiliate) and Iowa. That led to his being invited to spring training in 2007, where he was terrible, making five bad appearances covering four innings. He allowed nine hits, six runs and three home runs -- the three homers all in one game on March 2, 2007.
Nevertheless, he was sent to Iowa again, instead of just being released. And on June 13, he was recalled from Triple-A and Matt Murton sent down. I can't say I remember this, and you probably don't either, but on June 14 he was brought into an interleague game vs. the Mariners at Wrigley Field to face Raul Ibanez, who he retired on a line drive to right. He was then taken out of the game and on June 17 sent back to Iowa.
That was his entire Cubs career -- facing one batter. At the end of August he was sent to the Tigers as the PTBNL in the Craig Monroe deal. (Remember him?)
Three years later he resurfaced with the Rangers, pitching in 13 games this September and somehow getting onto the playoff roster, where he allowed a hit last night that let the tying run score. He's got to be one of the most obscure ex-Cubs ever to play in the postseason.
And the Texas Rangers still have never won a home playoff game. They'll try again this afternoon.
MLB.com Gameday for ALCS Game Two
MLB.com Gameday for NLCS Game One
Discuss amongst yourselves.