The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Or in the Rangers case, running the same terrible pitcher out there and expecting different results. The Rangers went into the ninth inning of last nights game in a 3-3 tie, but every human being who has ever even heard of baseball knew the game was over when the name “Michael Kirkman” was announced to pitch the inning for the Rangers. That is, every human being except Ron Washington. From time to time, Washington makes some questionable bull pen decisions, but none as questionable as the one he pulled off last night.
When asked why Kirkman was taking so much flak from Rangers fans lately (prior to last nights game) on The Hague Sports Podcast, Anthony Andro of Fox Sports Southwest said “well, have you seen the numbers? Statistically, he’s the worst reliever in the American League! He’s been dreadful. I mean, he’s not getting left handers out, he’s not getting right handers out, it was crazy when we talked to Wash last week about him, he said ‘his stuff is there, he’s just been unlucky’. How is that unlucky? If you throw hard, you throw straight, and you throw it down the middle, that’s great! If your a hitter.”
Andro is right. Why, in that situation in Boston you would put in the worst reliever in the American League is beyond me. Now, I am a giant Rangers apologist, I will admit that before I go on, but Kirkman has to go. He has no redeemable quality left as a reliever.
Lets look at some numbers on Kirkman. He is posting an ERA of 8.18. In 22 innings, he had allowed 36 hits and 20 runs, ALL EARNED. He has walked another 15, only 4 were intentional. His RAA is -10, his WAA is -1.1, his WAR is -0.0, his RAR is -8, and he is allowing nearly 8.2 runs per nine innings pitched. In other words, he is downright awful.
The Rangers still hold the division lead by 0.5 games. When the lead is that slim, you need to put your best foot forward as a team, and not throw the worst reliever in the AL out there. He is our version on the Astros former pitcher Phillip Humber. Yes, former! Even the Astros know when to get rid of a guy! Since the Rangers have been to the post season in three straight seasons, we as fans expect more from them, like an actual attempt to win each and every game.
So I am not giving Ron Washington a pass on last nights game. It is unacceptable to put Kirkman in last nights game, and it is unacceptable to have him on this roster anymore. He is a failed experiment, he cannot get his head right at the major league level. It is time for the Rangers to cut their losses. This team is better than that and this fan base deserves better than that.