Taylor Hearn is one of several young arms vying for a role in the Rangers' rotation next season. Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Football

What I’m Watching: A Promising Pitcher, Zeke’s Week 2, and a New Sports TV Show

Your cheat sheet for the sports content that belongs on your screens this week.

Fun fact: there’s way too much sports on television—too much for any reasonable human to get through in a given week. But I’m unreasonable. I watch everything so that you don’t have to. Literally every hour of every week. Every Monday I’ll give you a rundown of the stuff that’s catching my eye involving Dallas sports and Dallas sports-adjacent content. Worth your time this week:


Saturday, 9/18: Sports and Such2 PM, The CW

The Eagle’s Kevin Turner and Dallas sports media veteran Dena Adi have teamed up to make a show that’s a mashup of a sports recap, a late-night show, and a game show—which is to say, unlike anything else produced in town. Guests run the gamut from Clay Jenkins to Jon Daniels to Travis Frederick to media personalities around town (unfortunately for you all, that includes me). We’ll have more on them later in the week.

Saturday, 9/18: White Sox at Rangers—7 PM, Bally Sports Southwest

The final Lone Star Series of the year runs Tuesday through Thursday, and any games with Houston promise a lot more vitriol than a set with Chicago. But the Rangers’ season has nosedived well beyond the point of the outcomes themselves mattering, aside from possibly securing better draft position. What we’re looking for are any on-field developments that could impact Texas’ future, and the most intriguing over the past month has been Taylor Hearn, who is scheduled to start this one.

The lanky lefty has always boasted starter-caliber stuff — no team has ever complained of having too many lefties who throw 95 — and the dearth of proven commodities in the rotation following the deadline-day Kyle Gibson trade affords him a fresh opportunity to demonstrate he can channel it. Over his past five starts, Hearn has struck out 20 to go with two walks and a 3.94 ERA in 29.2 innings. The underlying numbers aren’t quite so rosy, but there’s plenty of reason to hope that Hearn generates more swings and misses as he grows comfortable with more opportunities, which would go a long way toward cementing him as part of the rotation’s future. Chicago’s lineup, which is loaded with righties and switch-hitters, will be an excellent barometer for his progress.

Sunday, 9/19: Ezekiel Elliott versus the Los Angeles Chargers’ front seven—3:25 PM, CBS

There are plenty of silver linings to take from Thursday’s heartbreaker at Tampa Bay, and one of them is how deadly Dallas’ offense could look without getting anything from the run game. The Cowboys gained a measly 60 yards on 18 attempts on the ground compared to 403 yards from 58 pass attempts in Week 1, a very deliberate imbalance that accounted for the Buccaneers’ league-best rush defense. But that won’t fly game in, game out, and Sunday figures to be our first real look at what Elliott can provide this season. On the one hand, the 26-year-old has plenty of carries on the odometer and is coming off the least-productive season of his career. On the other, that was without Dak Prescott or the team’s vaunted offensive line on the field, and Elliott has been widely praised for reshaping his body. All we know through Week 1 is that he is still a damn effective pass blocker. After Sunday, we’ll have a much better sense of how great he remains at running the football.

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