Rangers up lead to 1.5 games.

Jordan Montgomery deals another gem when the Rangers needed it most.

It’s never easy. And it’s never clean. But the Rangers bullpen held tight again. Somehow.

With a razor-thin 2-0 lead after seven brilliant innings by Jordan Montgomery, Bruce Bochy threw caution to the wind and went with his bullpen. 

He plucked Jose Leclerc from the top of the scrap heap and brought him in for the eighth. Leclerc didn’t allow a run.

Yes, you read that correctly. Jose Leclerc pitched an inning in relief without allowing a run to score.

Realizing the sheer luck and improbability of that, Bochy ran him back out for the top of the ninth with the Rangers still clinging to that 2-0 lead.

He struck out Eugenio Suarez, for only his 203rd strikeout this season.

Then the real Jose Leclerc showed up. He gave up a sharp single to left. Bochy had seen enough.

So he dipped into the desperation tank and brought out last night’s unlikely closer, Aroldis Chapman. He did what he normally does. 

He walked the first hitter he faced. Another crash and burn was on its way. 

Except, that didn’t happen. Chapman retired the next two Mariners. The Rangers won 2-0. The Astros lost. The Rangers lead the West by 1.5 games.

The bullpen held.

Maybe after 150-plus games, the bullpen is finally settling in. Or, maybe, even a blind pig finds an acorn.  

Nobody knows.

The bullpen held. This has been typed so few times this year it is worth bringing it out once more.

The bullpen held.