In the months of June and July, Ryan Dempster gave up seven earned runs. Combined. On Thursday night, making his debut for the Texas Rangers, Dempster surrendered eight earned runs on nine hits and three walks, in four and ⅔ innings of work.
Certainly, it wasn't the debut either the Rangers or Dempster were looking for, but at least Texas' offense was able to explode in a major way, lifting Dempster off the hook and giving the Rangers a much needed series split against the Angels.
Still, the start illustrated that Dempster is going to have a bit of a tough time in the American League. Though Wrigley Field isn't exactly a pitcher's best friend, Dempster witnessed first hand how what looks a routine fly out can wind up being a home run in Arlington -- take a look at Mark Trumbo's first inning home run.
To blame the ballpark only would be silly. Dempster needs to pitch better, plain and simple. And he will. He just won't pitch as well as he did in Chicago. As I said at the time of the acquisition, Dempster is replacing Colby Lewis. The two had eerily similar numbers, with Dempster's obviously coming in the easier environment. Hopefully Dempster is able to adjust and adequately fill Lewis' shoes, otherwise the Rangers will be scrambling a bit come LDS time.