Once the Rangers realized they had no shot at post-season—which for the front office was July 31 but for the fan base was December 15 when they acquired Matt Moore with the intention of putting him the rotation—they traded away their bullpen.
Once they traded away their bullpen, they had to brace themselves for days like yesterday.
It’s a two-man pen taking up twelve roster spots. Only Alex Claudio and Jose Leclerc are reliable enough to be called into a game when it’s on the line.
Once Mike Minor crashed and burned by allowing a base hit, it was obvious that he was not going to be allowed to throw pitch number 88.
He was quickly escorted out of the game by a manager who has never seen a trend he couldn’t follow. His replacement gave up a triple to make it a one-run game.
Once it was determined Jose Leclerc wasn’t going to pitch three games in a row, and Alex Claudio had already come in to do what Alex Claudio does, which is get out of critical jams, it was just a matter of time before the one-run lead would evaporate.
Claudio threw five pitches in the eighth inning, extending the pitch count for a reliever to dangerous levels. It would have been too much for Banister to bring him back for another inning and risk his pitch count getting up into the high teens. Had he gotten out of the eighth inning on only three pitches, then, yes, he could have been stretched to seven, maybe eight pitches. But not after throwing five.
Instead, Banister brought in the fresh left arm of Jeffrey Springs, who quickly let the tying run score, then not so quickly loaded the bases and gave up a game-winning grand slam.
Alex Claudio threw five pitches. Jeffrey Springs gave up five runs.Bullpen management isn’t something learned overnight. Please be patient. Jeff Banister is still in training.
He hasn’t yet read the chapter that says you can let a reliever go more than one inning. He needs to see a few more teams doing that before he learns it.
Tyler Glasnow (1-6, 4.48) vs. Adrian Sampson (0-1, 5.06)
Game time: 7:05
The Rays have never hit against Sampson.
The Rangers have never hit against Glasnow.