Glenn Otto’s second start wasn’t as dominating as his first start. But that’s only because you can’t expect a guy to shut out major league teams every time.
While his first game was a fairytale, yesterday’s first inning was a suspense novel. Just enough people jumping out of dark spaces to scare you, but not a slasher-movie death-count sort of thing.
Even though he gave up two runs in the first and it took him 37 pitches to get three outs, he really didn’t give up anything hit hard against him. The reason his pitch count was so high was the Angels fouled off fifteen pitches.
Otto was throwing strikes. They were just not quite biting enough to get swings and misses on.
David Fletcher battled through a lot of pitches before rolling a slow single to left. Otto got Shohei Ohtani to ground out, sending Fletcher to second. Fletcher stole third.
Another long battle led to a soft single to left from Phil Gosselin, scoring Fletcher. Gosselin stole second.
Then the Rangers head scratching defense reared its ugly head once again. Jared Walsh hit yet another easy roller to left. Rangers left fielder Jason Martin fielded it just as easily but then it seemed like the game went into slow motion. He stood there as Walsh rounded third right in front of him, finally throwing a four hopper back into the infield. Why he didn’t get the ball in right away was a mystery. Why he didn’t go home was a mystery. Why he threw such a bad throw to the cutoff man who was only fifty feet in front of him is a mystery.
But his brain malfunction allowed Los Angeles to score its second run.
Otto eventually got out of it and came back with a crisp one-two-three second. A three-batter third aided by a double play. A one-two-three fourth. And he pitched well enough to get out of the fifth. Until more bad Rangers defense, this time another error from Isiah Kiner-Falefa, did him in.
Otto was lifted with two outs in the fifth.
It was a promising start. Mainly because he showed a lot of poise and maturity after that frustratingly long first inning. He allowed just those two first-inning runs. Then nothing else.
So, after two starts, Otto is 0-0 with a 1.86 ERA, 11 strikeouts, just one walk, and a remarkable 0.742 WHIP.
He’s a keeper. Heck, in this inept rotation, with this franchise’s sorry pitching history, he might just be a Rangers Hall of Famer. Already. After two games.