Jon Gray is stuck in a strange in-between. He’s pitched into some pretty bad luck, getting little run support at times. And he’s pitched poorly enough to justify the loss at times.
He’s been good and not so good lately.
Rangers announcers were trying to elicit sympathy for the way the Ranger don’t score runs when Gray pitches. But that’s not entirely try.
After last night’s 4-2 loss to Boston, that’s five straight starts Gray hasn’t won. He’s gotten the L in four of those.
Yes, Texas was shutout in two of those loses, both by the score of 1-0. But in two of those starts he gave up six runs (to Toronto) and five runs (to Houston).
Last night, he gave up four, three earned.
Two brilliant losses. Two miserable losses. One disappointing loss.
So, this “poor Jon Gray” talk isn’t really justified.
Last night’s start was just so-so. He gave up only three earned runs in six innings, the definition of a quality start, but he wasn’t sharp. The two runs he allowed in the first set the tone.
In this current five-game stretch, Gray’s ERA has jumped up nearly a point. From 2.32 to 3.21.
This five-game stretch, however, followed a five-game stretch where he went 5-0. But that’s Jon Gray. Always good. Never great for any long stretch.
His ERA+ this year (which compares his ERA to the league average) is the best of his career, at 136, meaning this year he is 36 percent better than league average. His career ERA+ is 107, meaning he is just slightly better than average.
While Gray is having a career year in a lot of respects, he is still struggling to win of late. Much of that is due to the fact the Rangers offense has been in a weeks-long funk, having a frustrating inability to get the big hit when they need it.
Last night, it was the first inning. Second and third, one out. Two All-Stars coming up. Strike out, flyout. Second inning, two one, two outs and they failed to score again. Grey pitched just well enough to keep his team in the game. But not well enough to win the game.
The Rangers have been shut out six times this year. Three with Gray pitching. So, yes, it’s easy to say the cosmic tumblers of no offensive support seem to click more against Jon Gray than any other starter in the Rangers staff. But he hasn’t exactly been tearing it up lately either.