All uphill from here. 251 comments

After a rocky debut, Rangers starter said, “You either win or you learn.” Last night was about learning.


At the beginning of every game, a manager looks at his team and says to himself, “All I need is 27 outs. Who is going to get them?”

Texas’s starter Taylor Hearn got one. That’s a start. That’s something to build on.

In all fairness to Hearn, it really wasn’t that many fewer outs than most Texas starters have gotten this season.

The worst starting rotation of all 30 teams has an ERA of 6.49, has the fewest innings pitched of any rotation at 111 (less than five per start), and the worst WHIP (walks and hits per inning) at a whopping 1.70. That’s more traffic than a Dallas highway at rush hour.

Remember, this season was never about winning. When you put together the rotation the Rangers did to start this season, it was never about winning. When only two of your five starters has a chance to win, giving you a legitimate expectation to lose 60 percent of your games, it was never about winning. When you put together a wing and a prayer rotation like the Rangers did, it was never about winning.

The fact that, after last night’s 14-2 beatdown loss, the Rangers are .500, with that rotation, and with that bullpen, they are playing far over their talent level. This season has, so far, been a success.

They rushed Taylor Hearn to the major leagues because, once again, the front office has left the team exposed and bare of starting pitching. With nobody to call on, they reached down and chose Hearn.

His first start wasn’t ideal. He walked his first hitter. And his second hitter. Then his third hitter. Not his fourth hitter, though. That guy singled. One run. Then he got his out. Then a double. Four runs. Then he walked a hitter. Then a single to the next one. Five runs. Then his night was done.

An ERA of 108.00. Maybe not what you’d want, but certainly respectable for a Rangers starter.

Don’t you feel for Tayler Hearn, though? He was minding his own business in the Pirates organization, quietly working his way up the ladder with hopes of landing on a major league rotation one day. Then, a few years later, he gets traded to the worst pitching team in baseball.

Luckily, he has the Rangers bullpen to bail him out. Brett Martin got the last two outs of the first to keep the Rangers close, and pitched masterfully after that, allowing just two runs in his three innings. Jeffery Spring allowed only two runs in his one inning. Jeanmar Gomez gave up just five in his two innings of work. Closer Jose Leclerc was, once again, unscored upon. So was newly discovered bullpen ace Jeff Mathis.

Welcome to the major leagues, Taylor Hearn. So sorry it had to be in 2019 rather than later when you were more ready.

But, look on the bright side. Your major league career is all uphill from here.


Shelby Miller (1-1, 7.63) vs. Yusei Kikuchi (1-1, 4.68)
Game time: 9:10