The Rangers have had a long inglorious history of some really bad starting pitchers.
Who can remember trying to forget Pedro Astocio, Roger Pavlik, Mark Clark, Vicente Padilla, Rich Harden (who never saw a strike zone he couldn’t miss), Todd Van Poppel, Chan Ho Park, or Joe Saunders? The list is so exhaustive, an entirely new Internet would have to be created to house it.
But in all that bad pitching, in all those bad years, never before have the Texas Rangers had a string of six consecutive starts where the starting pitcher failed to get out of the fifth inning.
Until last night.
Two of those starts belong to Chi Chi Gonzalez. To be fair, the Rangers didn’t score any runs in support of him, so had he come to the Ballpark dressed like a major leaguer, he still would have suffered the same fate. Just not as anger-inducing
And, to be even more fair, even when Yu Darvish was at his peak of freshness, last night’s game is exactly the kind he would lose. But instead of losing 10-1, he’d lose it 2-1, or 1-0.
Very few pitchers can be expected to win when their team doesn’t score a single run until the ninth inning.
But this run of pitching futility has been notable because accompanying it, and maybe even because of it, is a Rangers bullpen that is about as trustworthy as an investment banker.
Last night, Chi Chi Gonzalez got into immediate trouble, to the surprise of nobody but maybe his family, and even they probably suspected he would struggle right out of the gate but wouldn’t bring themselves to admitting it.
He gave up nine hits and five walks and four earned runs in just 4.2 innings. He allowed fourteen of the twenty-eight hitters he faces to reach base. Exactly half.
The Supercomputer at NASA broke down trying to keep up with his pitch count. The number started with infinity.
In three starts this season, Gonzalez is averaging a little more than three innings per start and has an 8.71 ERA.
He is the opposite of an innings eater.
Someone suggested maybe he’s injured
Maybe it’s not Tommy John he needs. Maybe it’s a job at Jimmy John. They specialize in fast delivery. And Chi Chi wastes no time getting in and getting out.
Kyle Gibson (2-5, 4.82) vs. Cole Hamels (9-2 , 2.93)
Game time: 7:05 pm