Bibens-Dirkx vs Keuchel. 77 comments


 

On paper, this one’s a no brainer.

A former Cy Young winner and one-time ace of the World Series winning team is going up against a thirty-three-year-old career minor leaguer who has only ten major league starts.

No way Austin Bibens-Dirkx has any chance in this one against Dallas Keuchel, right?

Just like last year he had no business being on the same mound as Max Scherzer in Washington.

All he did last June 11 was outduel the eventual National League Cy Young winner with seven innings of three hit ball and one earned run.

Bibens-Dirkx is an afterthought on his own team. But, before the manager and general manager totally dismiss the guy, they need to take a quick peek at next year’s Rangers rotation.

Hamels will be gone. Colon is here for just this season. Doug Fister has a team option for next year—for just $500,000 they get out of having to pay him $4.5 million. Matt Moore has a club option of $750,000 to get out of a horrendous $10 million. If his buyout was $100 million it would be worth it to keep him off the mound.

That leaves Mike Minor, Martin Perez, and Austin Bibens-Dirkx as the only able-bodied starters under contract for next year.

That leaves Mike Minor and Austin Bibens-Dirkx as the only able-armed starters for next year.

Bibens-Dirkx won’t get any respect. He probably won’t get any consideration. But he should get plenty of starts. He has the best ERA of any starter on his team, after all.

And, as the Rangers number-five starter, he is outpitching his counterpart tonight, the number-five starter of the all-world best-team-ever Astros in Dallas Keuchel.

That’s how deep, by contrast, the Astros rotation is. Dallas Keuchel is Houston’s number-five starter. He might not even make the post-season roster since he’s not really a long relief guy and since the Astros have Verlander, Cole, McCullers, and Morton ahead of him., and rarely does the number-five guy matter in the post-season.

Yet, Austin Bibens-Dirkx goes into tonight’s game as the underdog when he is, in fact, the best dog in the fight.

*****
TODAY’S GAME:

Dallas Keuchel (4-8, 4.22) vs. Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-1, 3.57)
Game time: 7:05

How the Astros hit against Bibens-Dirkx.
How the Rangers hit against Keuchel.

  • GoRangers23

    Three things:

    1) GO ABD!!!

    2) I fear the return of Martin Perez.

    3) I have a problem with the words, “the all-world best-team-ever Astros” haha. Other than that, great article! 😄

    • dearmidol

      3 was sarcasm.

      • GoRangers23

        I thought as much, but I was only kidding anyway. 😄

  • GoRangers23

    ABD is super sweaty in that picture.

  • JacobMcCandles

    That is saying something…that a former Cy Young winner is a #5, but its true. DK has pitched somewhat better recently but its still a roller coaster. His pitches have a lack of velocity and movement. But ABD has pitched better as well…I would give DK a slight edge in the game, but basically a toss up, or just toss.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Firstly, I have championed DD in our lineup only second to Gregor….I am extremely gratified to see his skills improve and largely it looks like he had done this with his own perseverance, not coaching. But I have to comment on what was reported by Evan Grant. Fangraphs has DD the best CF in MLB…..not so fast. This really underlines the worthlessness of Defensive Metrics. Offensive have their issues but by in large they usually hold true.

    Defensive cannot take into account several things. Happy for DD and if you are going to take the heat then enjoy the limelight. But look at all the CFs in this league and I don’t think anyone would agree with that statement. Meant to be a negative on Def Metrics NOT DD.

    • dearmidol

      I saw that as well and did a head scratch.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Yeah like above between Gregor and I….Think Gregor puts him a tad higher than me. He might have broken the top 10…might!! LO

    • Gregor_S

      Agree that defensive metrics have lots of limitations. Still, they’re not completely worthless. Napoli in LF probably rated poorly on all of the metrics systems.

      DD has rated high this year in part because he’s probably made more highlight catches than just about any other CFer. He’s made some particularly good catches near the wall, sometimes with his back to the plate, sometimes jumping — which he’s very good at — sometimes not. As I’ve said before, the catches are made more difficult by the fact that he plays shallow and has to run back at close to full speed to get to the wall in time. Apparently that’s where Banny wants him to play.

      DD probably doesn’t consistently get as good a jump or take as perfect a route as a couple of the elite CFers like Kiermeier or Cain. But he keeps getting better, and because he’s faster than even most CFers when he does get a good jump and take a good route he will have a better chance of getting to the ball than they will. And even the best CFers will mess up once in awhile. Aaron Hicks and George Springer both muffed important plays just in the postseason last year. We don’t notice it as much with them as with DD because their reputations are better.

      DD’s arm has also gotten a lot better. He threw out a few runners early in the year and since then they’ve stopped running on him. It will never be a spectacular arm like Leonys has but we forget that for every great throw Leonys made he also made a bad one. OF throwing arms count for something but I think they’re overrated.

      Bottom line, DD has become a very good CFer. Not among the very top ones but maybe he’ll get there. I’ve always worried more about his hitting. Because he’s always trying to get on base he tends to take hittable pitches early in the count and then have to swing with two strikes when you have to protect the plate and everyone’s BA is lower. I suspect that’s what the Rangers want him to do but I think his BA would be higher and he’d get more extra-base hits if he swung more at strikes early in the count. On the other hand, he’d walk less so his OBP, which is still respectable this year (for someone who’s such a threat to advance on the bases and score) at around .330, would probably be lower. Would like to see his OBP get back to .350 as it was last year.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Well a longer version but sounds like we agree.

        • Gregor_S

          Would just add a couple of things. Stats probably are reliable in saying he, Billy Hamilton, Buxton, and one or two others are the only ones in BB to run 30+ feet/second. Even Trout is around 29+ and lots of “fast” runners are at 28. If it takes 4 seconds to run down a ball in CF that comes to a difference of 4 to 8 feet, which is often the difference between getting to a ball and not. (I’m assuming the jump and route are equal, and these days DD most of the time is doing well on jump and route, though as I said he’s probably still not as consistent as Cain, Kiermaier, or Pillar.)

          I also think we tend to expect a CFer to be a little taller than DD and maybe subconsciously tend to rate him lower because of his size.

  • TD30
    • JacobMcCandles

      Was talk on Dallas radio shows of surprise that Rua was not sent down today…might be because of his success agst Keuchel……Also word is Chris Martin packed his bags and left…Possible trade??

      • Gregor_S

        Don’t know about Martin but not surprised they’re trying to give Rua some playing time. I think they want to showcase him for a possible trade package. He’s not as bad as he’s been this year. He’s very streaky but was very good in Sept. 2014. Problem is when he slumps he Ks a ton. Rangers have enough guys like that in my opinion. But if they don’t trade him he could be a reserve, since he can play multiple positions.

        • JacobMcCandles

          I thought Rua was going to be a good player at one time…and he has received ample opportunity

        • WhoKnowscs

          On Rua they might be waiting fir Guzman to come off concussion protocol.

          • Gregor_S

            Isn’t Guzman in the lineup today? Thought they sent down Martin instead of Rua.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Guzman is on first

  • JacobMcCandles

    First inning might be a very good glimpse of this game…..with a minimum 4 starts, ABD leads MLB with first pitch strikes vs Astros a very aggressive hitting team….on the other side Keuchel has a 9+ ERA in the first inning…..innings 2-9 2.95 ERA

  • JacobMcCandles

    Well the wall saved TX two runs for a moment……

  • JacobMcCandles

    55 ABD pitches, 1.5 innings played=1 hour, OY

  • GoRangers23

    Oh, ABD. You just got the disappointed mom head shake.

  • Gregor_S

    Mazara has improved in RF but have yet to see him catch anything at or just over the wall. That ball had lots of hang time so if he timed it right he had a shot. Not saying it was routine but catchable.

  • Gregor_S

    Like seeing DD swing at hittable pitches early in the count.

    Maybe if the temperature was under 100 he’d have gone for a triple.

  • TD30

    43–Choo keeps the streak alive!

  • GoRangers23

    That’s better ABD!

  • elkaba

    One thing I’ll say about DD (read the discussion below) whether he’s the best in baseball, at or near top 10 or whatever, he’s showing improvement. And for this team, that’s saying something. 🙂

  • GoRangers23

    Good hit Guz!

  • GoRangers23

    WHO NOMINATED THOSE TWO FOR AN EMMY??? AN. EMMY!!

    • Gregor_S

      Which two? You don’t mean Raymond and CJ? Say it ain’t so, Go.

      • GoRangers23

        Yes. Is that not ridiculous? That’s what they said a while ago.

        • Gregor_S

          Wow, didn’t hear that. Hard to think of anyone less deserving.

          I guess if Obama could win a Nobel Peace Prize, and now Trump is being considered for one, awards truly mean nothing.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Prob a Razzy

          • GoRangers23

            I can’t remember who said it, but I think it might have been on a commercial.

    • Rowdy Yates

      Emily should be nominated for an Emmy!

      • elkaba

        Se was nominated for an Emily!

        • GoRangers23

          .😂

    • elkaba

      What? Who? Not dumb and dumber, surely!!!

      • GoRangers23

        Apparently so. It’s mind boggling!

        • elkaba

          Unfathomable.

  • Rowdy Yates

    1st game I’ve seen in weeks. ABD had nothing the 1st few innings but gutted it out. Good to see him hang tough as always.

    • GoRangers23

      Hey Rowdy! I’m glad you’re back!

  • TD30

    Nice catch Rua!!

    • GoRangers23

      That was fantastic!

  • JacobMcCandles

    Rua with a Defensive clinic tonight

  • GoRangers23

    Oh no.

    • TD30

      Yep looks like Barnett is broken

      • GoRangers23

        I wonder how long he will be gone this time?

        • TD30

          Who knows? At least he hasn’t been someone we rely on(too much) this year.

          • GoRangers23

            Does it indicate a possible Tommy John issue when they grab their elbow? Do you know?

          • TD30

            I don’t know. I imagine there could be lots of different injuries that could involve the elbow, but could be UCL tear or sprain.

          • TD30

            I guess it was his shoulder, not elbow. 🤔

          • GoRangers23

            I know….didn’t they say it was his elbow? 🙄

          • TD30

            They just said shoulder sprain.

          • GoRangers23

            Right, but I mean when it happened. I think Dave said it was his elbow at first. I wasn’t rolling my eyes at you, by the way, I was rolling my eyes at them. Lol

          • TD30

            I think they said that. It did look like he grabbed his elbow a little. May have just been pain down his arm from a strain the shoulder

  • GoRangers23

    TD, this is getting exciting!

    • TD30

      But couldn’t pull it off 😢

      • GoRangers23

        No, but we sure tried.

  • elkaba

    Dang, dang, double dang.

  • WhoKnowscs

    Sadly I think that was our chance.

    • GoRangers23

      That was hard to take.

    • WhoKnowscs

      Maybe they’ll use Giles and he’ll be flakey.

  • WhoKnowscs

    A loss tonight and the silver boot battle is over. Proving once again how little the rivalry actually is since I can only think of 1 season since moving to the AL where both teams were good.

    • GoRangers23

      I think we have just as good a chance of winning this game as they do…or, we did anyway. I hate it that we might lose the boot tonight though. If we are winning the boot, that means we are winning. I like winning! 😄. Therefore, I like the boot. Ha!

      • JacobMcCandles

        Think you need some coffee..lo

        • WhoKnowscs

          Or Valium.

          • JacobMcCandles

            You are closer

          • GoRangers23

            Really?

        • GoRangers23

          I don’t need either. I like the boot trophy. I can’t help it that a lot of fans on this site don’t like it. That doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant or stupid just because you don’t care about it.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Looked Safe….little too late after last inning

  • JacobMcCandles

    Guz,DD,Choo

  • JacobMcCandles

    Blew DD away….down to Chooie

  • elkaba

    Out with a whimper, not a bang.

    • JacobMcCandles

      Yep…8th was the bang

  • Nathan Whitten

    So, does ABD stay in the rotation when Perez comes off of the DL? I don’t want to see it happen. But I’ll bet that it does. Moore should not be starting again. Perez will get a chance, but that 9.something ERA had better drop fast or I would have seen enough. Fister and Minor are doing just good (not bad?) enough to stay. Colon and Hamels are slightly better. So, the poor guy will get shafted again, or so it seems.

    • elkaba

      With the hottest part of the summer still to come, I hope they go back to tinkering with a 6 man rotation- couldn’t hurt. Plus if Hamels is traded soon, it would still be 5.