Early June was truly a remarkable week for Rangers rookies. Two days after Joey Gallo’s triumphant debut, Chi Chi Gonzalez showed flashes of what he might possibly be some day. Or, at least, what we can all hope.
He pitched a complete game shutout in just his second major league start. Against the Kansas City Royals, no less. This, after giving up no runs and just one hit in 5.2 innings against the other end of the baseball spectrum, the Boston Red Sox.
After four major league starts, his ERA was 0.90 on the strength of yielding just three earned runs in thirty innings.
But, unless your name is Mike Trout, baseball has a cruel way of reminding you that you have a lot to learn.
Those lessons came in Gonzalez’s next four starts when he gave up twenty earned runs in a combined nineteen innings.
To recap: ERA first four starts: 0.90. ERA second four starts: 9.47.
That is what you call the league figuring you out. There is a huge upside there. If he can just figure out the league.
Until then, here’s a reminder of what he did.
SECOND GAME SHUTOUT.
June 6, 2015
Kevin Brown. Len Barker. Scott Chiamparino. Alex Gonzalez.
By pitching a shutout last night, Gonzalez put his name in the Rangers record book alongside some other well known, and not so well remembered, names.
Kevin Brown was the last Ranger to throw a complete game in his second start. He did that in 1988.
Len Barker was the last Ranger to throw a shutout in his second start. He did that in 1976.
Scott Chiamparino was the last Ranger to begin his major league career with twelve scoreless innings.
Gonzalez is now at 14.2 consecutive scoreless innings. And counting. This wasn’t against the lowly Red Sox. This was against the defending American League Champion Kansas City Royals, one of the best teams in the league.
This was legit domination.
You can call him Alex. You can call him Chi Chi. And now you can call him the most successful rookie to begin a career in Rangers history.
Rangers rookies are sure making a name for themselves in the American League.
This one is named Alex. They call him Chi Chi. If this 23-year-old right-hander continues pitching like he did last night, they will call him a lot of other names in the future. Like Rookie of the Year, All-Star or even Cy Young.