Five in a row. 36 comments

In his first big league game ever behind the plate, Isiah Kiner-Falefa threw out the potential tying runner trying to steal for the final out of the game.


Don’t look now, but the hottest team in major league baseball is the Texas Rangers. Five wins in a row.

It helps that they played the last three against Kansas City, who is a woeful 2-17 in the month of June.

But that’s not to take away from last night’s start from Austin Bibens-Dirkx.

It certainly wasn’t as surprising as his dominating start last year against the Nationals and Max Scherzer, but yesterday’s emergency start from Bibens-Dirkx was equally impressive.

He pitched into the seventh inning, having allowed only one run and five hits, keeping the Royals hitters off balance all game. Nothing they hit was very hard.

Bibens-Dirkx was filling in for the suddenly-demoted Yohander Mendez, who was banished back to Triple-A for conduct that violated team policy.

Last season Bibens-Dirkx was the Rangers Rookie of the Year, but he is their Rodney Dangerfield. He gets no respect. They threw good money after bad pitching in the offseason, ignoring him from their plans.

As the rotation crashed and burned, they overlooked him for other solutions that didn’t work out.

Make no mistake, Austin Bibens-Dirkx isn’t going to win a Cy Young. But he is a serviceable starting pitcher on a team that has so very few of them.

The Rangers seemed to want to go the more high dollar name brand pitcher approach in the offseason. They paid for the label and are paying the price now.

With last night’s performance, Austin Bibens-Dirkx certainly earned another start. How long he can hang out in the rotation will remain to be seen.

But he is a vast improvement over Matt Moore, who was given twelve starts. And nine million dollars.

By comparison, Bibens-Dirkx is a bargain.