An old nemesis showed up again last night in Arlington: the Rangers bullpen collapse.
And while that was the Rangers’ nineteenth blown save of the season, you may be surprised to realize that last night’s blown save was the Rangers first since July 2.
The bullpen went fifty-two games without giving up a lead.
That’s pretty remarkable, especially considering how frequently they were squandering leads before that.
The culprit that July 2 game was none other than Jose Leclerc, last night’s loser after rookie and guy who started the season pitching in A ball, Ricky Rodriguez, came one strike away from nailing down a victory.
But he gave up a two-run homer to tie it in the ninth. And since the Rangers’ bats don’t work after the sixth inning of most games, they went meekly in the bottom of the ninth.
Then the guy against whom the strike zone has a restraining order and is not allowed to have his pitches come within ten feet of it, Jose Leclerc, pitched to three batters, walked all three. Moments later, all three scored when Bibens-Dirkx gave up a two-run single and a sac fly.
The Rangers went meekly in the tenth.
Banister likes finding a few arms he can trust and ride them like a cheap motorcycle. He thought he had one in Rodriguez, who gave up just one earned run and earn a save after his first five major league appearances, but has since allowed six earned runs in his last four, taking his ERA from 1.80 to 8.22
Scratch Rodriguez the To Be Overused list.
All blown saves are, in the end, games that should have been won. This one seemed even more so.
Andrew Heaney (1-0, 5.63) vs. Martin Perez (10-10, 4.89)
Game time: 2:05