A manager needs a bullpen he can trust. With the Rangers, it seems to be just one guy. Alex Claudio.
He is Jeff Banister’s sixth-inning guy, his seventh-inning guy, his eighth-inning guy, his closer. He has been a long man, a short man, a starter.
Anything Claudio has been called in to do, he has done.
Mainly, he has been the savior for the Rangers. The only reason the Rangers can see post-season in their binoculars is because of Claudio.
He is their fourth closer of the year, after Dyson, Bush and Kela.
The best thing about Claudio is he totally defies what a closer has become, which is someone who comes in and throws 100 miles per hour. Claudio probably can’t even go that fast driving a Porche.
All he can do is put zeroes on the board. Coming into last night’s game, he had given up just seven runs since he has taken over as the closer on July 1. In twenty appearances since then, he had gone more than one inning eight times—now nine—and gone more than two innings twice. He’s gotten seven saves, a win and a loss, on a 2.33 ERA.
Last night, after Jose Leclerc walked the bases loaded with two outs, Claudio came in and got a ground ball to end the inning.
Then he nailed down the win in the ninth. Granted, not without a bit of drama.
Every one-man show has a little drama, though, right?
Tyson Ross (3-2, 7.02) vs. Ricky Nolasco (6-12, 5.16)
Game time: 9:07