Game 100 of the season showed that the next sixty-two games are going to be difficult on the Rangers bullpen.
This strategy of only letting starters go six innings, maximum, has consequences. You turn one-third of the game over to a steady parade of arms that aren’t good enough to be starters in the first place.
So, one third or more of your game is in the hands of the B-team. And people wonder why this team cannot win one-run games or why they have so many late-inning losses. It’s because mediocre arms are worn out.
Glen Otto didn’t even get through the federally mandated six innings last night. He got through five, allowing four runs, which isn’t what anyone would call a stellar effort. When he left, the Rangers were up 5-4. But that meant the bullpen was responsible for the final four innings.
Texas scored two more in the sixth to make it 7-4.
Jose Leclerc handled the Angels through the sixth and seventh fine. Then the comedy team of Dennis Santana and Brett Martin took over in the eighth.
Santana allowed a single, a walk, then a two-RBI double. It was 7-6. Time to start worrying.
Martin came in and immediately struck out number nine hitter but that brought up last year’s MVP Shoehei Ohtani, who had already slugged a three-run homer earlier in the game. He intentionally walked Ohtani. Then unintentionally walked the next batter, Taylor Ward.
The seventh and tying run scored in typical Rangers fashion. A bases-loaded wild pitch to the next Angels batter, Luis Rengifo.
Now that the bullpen had blown the lead, it was up to Brett Martin to keep the game tied. Instead, he coughed up another two-run double and the 7-4 lead they had when the inning began was now a 9-7 deficit.
The Rangers simply don’t have enough depth in their rotation. Which highlights the fact that they don’t have enough depth in the bullpen.
Which highlights the fact this team is not as near being competitive as they might want fans to think.