The Corey Kluber era hit a huge brick wall.
One of the few truly great pitchers the Rangers have ever had, a pitcher who, himself, has two more Cy Young awards than the entire franchise combined, had to leave his first game with his new team after one inning with shoulder tightness.
And that, in a nutshell, is the legacy of the Texas Rangers baseball team.
With an offense that is virtually incapable of scoring more than three runs per game, the Rangers need all the pitching they can get.
It appeared they had that coming into the season, with Kluber, Minor, and Lynn. If this team has any chance of winning, it is keeping teams under two runs. The 2020 Rangers are undefeated when its opponent has scored fewer than two runs.
If Kluber misses a lot of time, it changes everything. While the Rangers four and five pitchers in their rotation this year are infinitely better than their fours and fives in past years, that’s the very definition of damning with faint praise.
It’s the tallest midget syndrome.
After Gibson and Lyles, the Rangers’ four and five, the talent falls off the cliff fast. Then you are relying on pitchers the Rangers developed. And that’s like relying on your nephew to show up on time to help you move.
Kolby Allard might work because he’s was not drafted by the Rangers. He might actually turn out to be a real pitcher. Unfortunately, Rangers manager Chris Woodward said Joe Palumbo would replace Kluber in the rotation.
Yesterday, when Joe Palumbo came in for Kluber, Joe Palumbo did what Joe Palumbo does. He pitched a few good innings, then caved. That’s the Joe Palumbo MO in his career. He dominates for an inning or two to give you hope. Then, he craters.
With Kluber, and with the top eight teams in the American League making the playoffs, the Rangers have a legitimate chance to win three out of five games. Without him, it’s two out of five.
And that’s not good enough to make it to respectability.
Now, we wait for the news on Corey Kluber. Because that will determine this team’s fate for 2020.
NO GAME TODAY.