Dane Dunning might be the one pitcher who actually needs an opener. Or a psychologist.
He cannot pitch the first inning of a game. Yesterday, he gave up five more first inning runs. In his ten first innings this year, he has now given up fourteen earned runs. That’s a 12.60 first-inning ERA.
That’s burying your team early. And that’s not acceptable for a starting pitcher.
Yes, he seems to recover after those first innings. But the damage is already done.
Like the game before where Yang cratered early and gave up seven runs in 3.1 innings, Dunning gave up seven runs in four innings. The Rangers were swept in a two-game series in Anaheim because they gave away each game in the first. Then the rest of the game was filling out the paper work.
Yes, down 9-1, the Rangers made a valiant effort to come back and felt pretty good about themselves about that after yesterday’s game. They scored seven runs late fall short by one run. They patted themselves on the back and said all sorts of things about never quitting.
But, it was just another loss in the end.
Because Dunning lost it in the beginning.