Texas returned to twenty games over .500 with another late-inning rally over the Rockies, whose bullpen was as horrible as the Rangers’.
Originally published August 10, 2016.
Remember all those games the Rangers would lose with Wilhelmsen coming out of the bullpen? Or Cesar Ramos? Or Luke Jackson? Or Shawn Tolleson? Or Tanner Scheppers?
Guess what? The Rockies are the National League Rangers. Their bullpen is what ours is. Or was.
In fact, even now, after the Rangers bullpen has stabilized over the last month, Texas has the twenty-seventh worst bullpen in MLB (out of thirty) while Colorado’s is twenty-eighth. A 4.70 ERA versus a 4.82 ERA.
In fact, in most bullpen stats, Texas and Colorado are neck-and-neck near the bottom of baseball.
So all you have to do is stay close and get past the one hundred, and you have a chance. Get that starting pitcher to his league-mandated one-hundred-pitch maximum and get your licks in against their relief pitching.
It’s great being on the other end of it for a change.
In their past four games, the Rangers have followed the same formula to success.
Saturday in Houston, Doug Fister gave them just one run in six innings. The minute he left the game, the Rangers scored one in the seventh, one in the eighth and one in the ninth on the Astros bullpen for a come from behind 3-2 victory.
Sunday it was against Astros rookie Joe Musgrove, who dominated them with just one run through seven innings. The minute he came out of the game, the Rangers scored two in the eighth, then two more in the eleventh to win it. (Houston did the same to the Rangers bullpen once Darvish left the game—unfortunately, it works both ways.)
Monday in Colorado, Rockies starter Tyler Anderson gave the Rangers just one run through seven. Then he came out and so did the Rangers’ bats, scoring three in the ninth to win the game 4-3.
And yesterday it was more of the same. Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood gave up just two runs before coming out in the seventh, leading 5-2. The Rangers proceeded to pick up four in the eight and one in the ninth for a 7-5 victory.
As the Rangers, and in particular Yu Darvish, have seen, there is nothing more demoralizing than your bullpen blowing brilliant starting pitching time and again. And the Rangers have forced that to happen four games in a row.
We know how it feels. And it feels awfully good to be on this side of it for once.