In the rubber game of the Yankees series, Scott Feldman took the hill against Phil Hughes. Feldman was pushed into service due to the doubleheader a few days ago. It’s the perfect use of the spot start. One feels bad for Feldman sometimes. On one hand, he pitched his way out of the rotation after his 17 game win season a few years ago. But, with all the increased pitching we have lately, he’s the prime guy to have the short stick, and stuck in long relief. Good enough for a major league team, but not good enough to crack the rotation. Still, he was making a spot start here, and given his lack of being stretched out, it was unlikely that he was going to get a ton of innings, perhaps not even enough to qualify for the win.
That’s pretty much what happened. Scott Feldman got in 3.1 innings, throwing 62 pitches. The 62 in 3 innings just might have had something to do with him leaving, although the six hits and a walk in 3+ innings probably was more (ya think?). This was pretty much going to be a bullpen only game anyway. We ended up throwing five relievers out there over the course of the nine innings. Feldman (3.1IP), Robbie Ross (2.2 IP), Neftali Feliz (1 IP), Mike Adams (1 IP), Joe Nathan (1 IP). The usage of Feliz is interesting, as he’s a starter now. I’m guessing this was pretty much done in lieu of a side session or something , especially after his next start was pushed back a little – the live game action was probably more valuable as practice than actual practice would have been. Feliz gave up the only run that any of the pitchers after Feldman gave up. It was a solo home run to Raul Ibanez in the 7th.
Ross was credited with the win – his fourth. Out of the bullpen, no less. He’s the pitcher with the most wins on the Rangers staff, and has more than CJ “White Pages” Wilson. And just two less than the ENTIRE Anaheim Angels team. Gotta bloody love THAT! When the starter doesn’t go five, it’s always an odd stat when someone has to be picked for the win. Why not the starter? If it’s officially “up to the official scorder” who gets credited with the win in situations like that, why can’t he pick the actual starter? Never quite understood that.
Don’t know why this amused me, but I found it mildly chuckle-worthy that the Yankees bullpen has two former Rangers of recent vintage in there. Clay Rapada & Cody Eppley. Neither were awful when they were here, but neither were the kind that made you go “Yeah, HIM – that’s what we need to get back to the World Series!”
Offensively, Adrian Beltre didn’t seem too much worse for the wear after his hamstring scare the other day. He went 3-5 with 3 RBI’s and a run scored in this game, bringing his average to .313. One of the hits was a solo home run (in the 2nd). Kinsler also went 3-5, and has a similar batting average (.304). I’m still pretty excited about the Kinsler extension. When he FIRST came up, I wasn’t against him, but was kind of tepid on him. He’s turned out to be quite good, even if he still warrants his nickname of “Capt. Uppercut” a bit too much.
Mitch Moreland continues to lag offensively. He did go 2-3 tonight, but even with that, his batting average is just .179. I think a lot of fans were hoping that his batting would improve now that he was supposedly past a previously undisclosed injury. That doesn’t seem to be happening, as he’s spending way too much time below the Mendoza Line.
All told, the Rangers had eleven hits, five of which were extra bases. Two doubles (Kinsler & Young) and three home runs (all solo – Beltre, Napoli, & Moreland).
The Rangers have won all six series they’ve played so far this season, including the last game of every series, which is an interesting little factoid.