Mark Clark started fifteen games for the Rangers in 1999. He came over from the Cubs where, two years before, in an injury-shortened season, he posted a really nice 2.86 ERA.
But that was then. This was two years after then.
That year, in 1999, Clark registered an ungodly 8.60 ERA as a starter for the Rangers. His WHIP that year was an almost incalculable 1.843.
For that ignominy, he won the right to be the fifth starter for the Rangers in 2000. Eight starts into the 2000 season, his ERA was a sickening 8.15.
It was then that he was finally banished to the bullpen.
In a game on July 1, coming out of the pen, he gave up the eventually go-ahead run and suffered the loss. He walked off the field in the seventh inning with his 7.98 ERA and his head down to a hail of boos (I was in attendance that day), walked into the clubhouse, cleaned out his locker and walked away from professional baseball. He knew it was over.
Mark Clark was never heard from again.
Mark Clark went into the Witness Protection Program, had his name changed to Matt Moore, and, totally compromising the idea of the Witness Protection Program, he resurfaced in 2018 again as a pitcher in the Rangers rotation.
Matt Moore isn’t fooling anyone. We know Mark Clark when we see him.
Yesterday, once again, Matt Moore/Mark Clark scuffled in a start, giving up three earned runs in three-plus innings to put his team into yet another hole.
After yesterday’s fiasco, Moore is now 1-5 with a 7.82 ERA. Ironically, he doesn’t qualify for ERA consideration because he has been unable to go deep into the game he starts so he hasn’t pitched enough innings to qualify. In that regard he’s like a long reliever.
But, to put his season so far into prospective, the pitcher with the worst qualifying ERA in MLB is Lucas Giolito of the White Sox, at 6.92.
Moore has given up the most runs, and second-most earned runs, in all of baseball. His WHIP is 2.00. But numbers don’t do his putridness justice. He is killing the Rangers bullpen. He hasn’t even made it into the fifth inning in five of his nine starts.
Jeff Banister’s quick hook yesterday might have been an indication that the team has lost its patience with him. Finally.
It’s time for Matt Moore to do the honorable thing and follow in Mark Clark’s footsteps.
It’s time for Moore to do what so many opposing hitters have done against him. Take a walk.
Keep walking. Don’t turn back. And don’t resurface in a few years as another Rangers pitcher.
NO GAME TODAY.