Credit: Getty Images
Scott Feldman's rounding into form... and hopefully he can maintain it in the bullpen (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images).
I never even watch Scott Feldman pitch anymore. Too many bad memories.
I feel for Feldy, as I mentioned before
. I really do. I paid more attention to Roger Clemens
than Scott Feldman yesterday. Yes, I would rather check in on the perjury trial verdict of a former big league pitcher, who didn't even play for the Rangers*, than watch some first place baseball.
How about four abysmal starts (in which he allowed 24 runs, 19 earned, in 14 1/3 IP ) out of seven going into last night's match up with the Padres? How about west coast baseball starting too late? More pertinent still, how about the time-honored tradition of baseball superstitions? I watched all of his other starts, in which, not to put too fine a point on things, he sucked.
I had to do what I had to do. It was either blow off the game, or watch it with my clothes on inside out or whatever. Something. In baseball, you respect the streak. Conversely, you exercise diligence in ending a bad one.
Well, last night both happened. You're welcome, Ranger nation.
With the Yankees falling to Atlanta, the Rangers are owners of the majors' longest win streak at 5 -- and Scott Feldman was able to breathe through his eyelids
again, tossing 6 quality innings, giving up 2 runs & zero, count 'em zero**, unearned runs on 7 hits and no walks.
Oh, and some dude named Josh Hamilton was back in the lineup after battling intestinal issues for 4 days, going 2-5 with a couple of runs and hitting (shockingly) his first triple of the season.
Yu Darvish takes the hill tonight. Every start for Yu is going to be a big one until some of these pesky pitching questions get answered. Remember me saying Alexi Ogando was the linchpin of this staff
? Well Yu Darvish -- sitting, figuratively, right in the middle of the rotation, between two guys looking solid and a back end of uncertainty -- is the linchpin of the rotation at present.
His success or failure will mean the difference between the Rangers continuing as a .600 team or playing .440 ball for a while. Will he be a top of the rotation guy or a bottom of the rotation guy? It's a lot to put on a "rookie"***, but if his fist pumping, 8IP, 11K performance Friday was any indicator….
*I was at opening day 2006, when Tom Hicks was courting the then free agent & fellow Texas-ex to suit up mid-season for the Rangers. Clemens got a standing ovation. I vomited in my mouth a bit.
**For comparison's sake, Scott Feldman has had 7 unearned runs in 42 innings this season, while that straight-edge dude that we used to have (who, maddeningly, is the league leader in ERA) has had 6 over 92 1/3. So Feldy's been bad and the defense seems to rally behind him in ineptitude when he pitches.
***C'mon, the guy was a legend in Japan at 25. That's not really a rookie...