The Rangers went into this season with three of the worst pitchers at the bottom of their rotation than they’ve ever had. And, given this team’s pitching history, that’s saying something.
But two of the Bottom Dwelling Three are no longer in the rotation—one due to injury the other due to pitching—and the Rangers are better for it.
Adrian Sampson has been brilliant as a starter. Ignoring the fact that he technically hasn’t started his last two games, he is the starter nonetheless in that he is pitching his five innings, just not the first five.
After picking up the W in yesterday’s game, Sampson has now won three starts in a row by starting in the second inning.
In his last three starts, Sampson has given up one run, one run, and three runs, in five innings each.
He is keeping the Rangers in games and the Rangers offense is doing the rest. And that is certainly all you can ask of your fifth starter.
Now if the Rangers can just get all three of their fifth starters in this same place, things will be wonderful.
Drew Smyly (1-3, 6.15) vs. Wade LeBlanc (2-2, 7.33)
Game time: 2:40