The good news is that Chi Chi Gonzalez’ ERA is 2.27. The bad news is that it more than doubled last night.
The Rangers’ rookie had the first bad outing of his career against the A’s, squandering a 5-2 lead in an eventual 8-6 loss. Gonzalez had allowed only three runs in his first four starts, but gave up six to Oakland in 5.2 innings and saw his ERA jump from 0.90 to over 2.0.
The problem? Location.
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He induced 11 ground-ball outs in the first five innings, but then lost his control. He walked the leadoff hitter and then hit a batter to start the trouble. After a run-scoring single, Gonzalez allowed a double over the head of center fielder Leonys Martin.
Lead: gone. Chi Chi: yanked.
“It was a grind. I struggled,” Gonzalez told reporters in the post-game clubhouse. “But the team played well and gave me run support. I just have to look at my success and not reflect on the negative. Take out the positives.”
In the big picture, it’s likely nothing more than a hiccup for the rookie. Every pitcher has nights where he just can’t command the strike zone.
Chi Chi has taken baseball by storm. But on Tuesday night the game reminded him who’s boss.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.