So now the Rangers have a moment of truth. Does Drew Smyly get another start?
The better way to ask that question is, do the Rangers actually think they have a legitimate shot at a wild card?
If yes, then no.
If no, then—why?
Why give Drew Smyly another start? All he has done with the eleven he’s been given is to stink up the place. He’s 1-5 with an 8.40 ERA. He’s given up four or more earned runs in his seven of his eleven starts. Now, four runs wouldn’t be deadly if, say, he was going seven innings. But he hasn’t made it into the fourth inning in five of those eleven starts, including his last two.
If Smyly had enough innings to qualify (he doesn’t simply because he isn’t going deep enough in games) he would be dead last in ERA in the American League by more than two runs.
Not only is he creating an incredible strain on the bullpen, he is doing the same to the offense.
It’s too much to ask them to dig out of the huge hole he puts them in game after game. They came close again yesterday, but fell short.
He has had starts where he gave up four runs in the first against Baltimore. Three runs in the second against Los Angeles. Two in the first against St. Louis. Three in the first against the Astros.
Yesterday, he gave up three in the second. Then two more in the third. And his twin brother from different mothers, Shelby Miller, came in and promptly gave up three more.
You can’t really hide Smyly in the bullpen. Because that’s where they are stashing Miller. How many mop-up guys can one bullpen hide?
Possibly the scariest part is Smyly felt this was his best game. “Today, I felt mechanically that I was way better than I have been,” Smyly told mlb.com’s T.R. Sullivan. “Just seemed like the ball and all my pitches were way sharper and just coming out way better than they were the past few games.”
When his best is baseball’s worst, it’s time to make a change.
The Drew Smyly experiment didn’t work. Time to admit the $7-million mistake (along with the $2 million-mistake on Shelby Miller). Time to move on, if the Rangers have any hopes of moving up.
Mike Minor (5-4, 2.55) vs. Chris Sale (2-7, 3.84)
Game time: 6:10