This is what happens with young pitchers. It’s a learning curve.
Dane Dunning was brilliant in his first three starts. Not so brilliant in his last two. And two of the those brilliant starts were against bonafide contending teams: Toronto and Tampa Bay. The other against Baltimore.
Then he faced his former team, the Chicago White Sox, and crashed and burned. Five earned runs in 2.2 innings.
Last night, more of the same. Four runs in the first. Yes, he settled down after that. But four runs are hard to overcome. And the Rangers couldn’t.
It’s too early to draw patterns or conclusions about Dunning. He wasn’t going to continue with the 0.60 ERA he had after three games.
So, after five games, Dunning’s ERA is 3.86. If he can carry a 3.86 ERA for the season, the Rangers front office would be estatic. In most Rangers seasons, that would be ace-worthy.
So, don’t give up on Dunning yet. Don’t forget the other pitchers the Rangers have run out lately. Compared to them, he is Cy Young.