You have to beat the teams you’re supposed to beat. And the Rangers beat Colorado like a drum.
They beat them all three games. They beat them by a combined score of 31-10. They racked up 38 hits in three games. They never trailed in a single game for a single inning. They scored four or more runs in an inning five times. Rangers starters allowed three earned runs in eighteen innings (the other seven runs Colorado scored were courtesy of our philanthropic bullpen).
That was a beatdown.
That’s the best way to ensure your bullpen doesn’t cost you a game. Be so far up ahead it can’t.
While Jonathan Hernandez and Jose Leclerc cannot be trusted in any close game, to be fair, the Rangers do have a few bullpen arms they can rely on. Brock Burke has been consistently effective out of the pen for Texas. Yes, he had that hiccup in Oakland where he allowed three runs in the tenth inning after the Rangers scored two in the top of the tenth. But he had seven straight scoreless appearances before that.
Joe Barlow has been good so far in his three games. Two hits, no walks, no runs allowed.
Will Smith has four saves in his last four games. Seven in his last. There was that one disaster in Anaheim. But he’s been unhittable since. Literally. No hits, no walks, no runs allowed.
Little by little, Bruce Bochy is finding out who he can trust in high leverage situations and who he can’t.
Right now, in the can category it’s Smith, Barlow, Burke and Cole Ragans.
In the maybe category, it’s Josh Sborz and John King.
In the can’t, it’s Leclerc and Hernandez.
If they can just move a couple guys in the bottom two categories up one wrung, they can start to turn around the bullpen and end the disasters.
In the meantime, outscoring their opponents by ten runs will go a long way to helping them sort that out.
They should keep doing that.