Texas Rangers: 3 takeaways from an ugly four-game sweep in Houston

David Esser
May 16, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers relief pitcher Joely Rodriguez (57) pitches against the Houston Astros in the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
May 16, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers relief pitcher Joely Rodriguez (57) pitches against the Houston Astros in the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Texas Rangers Dane Dunning
May 15, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Dane Dunning (33) throws against the Houston Astros in the second inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

Some questions emerging in the pitching staff.

During the early stages of the 2021 season, the Texas Rangers pitching staff was exceeding expectations, performing far better than what some of the initial projection models had them doing.

During this past series to the Astros, it looks like the team’s staff collectively started to come back down to earth.

Mike Foltynewicz was actually half decent during his start on Thursday, but Friday’s game was a complete and utter disaster. The Rangers allowed ten runs to cross the plate, with Wes Benjamin, Brett de Geus, and Hyeon-jong Yang all really struggling with their command. Yang faltering in the manner that he did was particularly concerning, as he had stacked up a few solid outings for Texas prior to Friday’s loss.

The woes continued onto Saturday, as Dane Dunning lasted just four innings during his own respective start, allowing four runs to cross the plate before turning things over to the bullpen. Dunning allowed ten batters to reach base as well, only striking out three in the process.

Dunning’s ceiling is still rather high when it comes to his longterm potential with the Rangers, but Saturday’s poor outing happened nevertheless.

Kyle Gibson was pretty great during his start on Sunday (we’ll get to him on the next slide), but the bullpen failed to keep it together, as Joely Rodriguez allowed four runs to score in the 8th inning, costing the Rangers a shot at spoiling the sweep.

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