Looking at the positives, Drew Smyly pitched his best game of the year. The Rangers offense continued to click at home. And Khris Davis hit only one home run.
Other than that one thing—the Rangers blowing a 6-1 lead thing—it was a good game
By the final tabulation in the box score, Smyly wasn’t remarkable or even all that effective. Four earned runs in five innings figures out to a 7.20 ERA. That’s the kind of ERA that gets you out of baseball, or gets you a phone call from Jon Daniels.
As is so often the case, one bad inning did in Smyly.
But he made it through the first five innings with ease. One earned runs. No walks. Five strikeouts. Just 73 pitches. Nothing like the guy we saw labor through his first two starts.
Then the effects of not having pitched for two seasons crept in. He gave up a single to start the sixth, then two walks. And Smyly was done.
He left the game with a runner at every base and, unfortunately, Jesse Chavez came in and allowed them all to score.
Smyly got fifteen outs from twenty batters this outing, whereas in his last outing he was able to get only ten outs from twenty batters. His efficiency is improving. After the game, he even called it, “a big step forward.” Once the bullpen entered the picture, though, the game took a big step backward.
Drew Smyly made it into the sixth. His next step forward is making it out.
This season is all about steps. Sometimes they are baby steps. Sometimes they are big steps. And sometimes, like last night, they are stepping-in-a-pile-of-dog-doo steps.
Marco Estrado (0-1, 4.87) vs. Adrian Sampson (0-1, 1.86)
Game time: 7:05