Bullpen wrap: Neftali Feliz builds drama
Game 4 winner Derek Holland wanted to close out his gem, but with one out in the eighth, a walk brought manager Ron Washington out to the mound for a tap of his right arm to signal for his closer.
So what does Feliz do? The same thing he did the other night in St. Louis and walk the first man he faces, Craig Allen. Why is Allen significant? Because Albert Pujols follows him. Suddenly, Holland's 4-0 lead, with two on, one out and Pujols coming up, is feeling just a little less secure.
Asked about the added drama, second baseman Ian Kinsler let out a strange laugh.
"He didn't allow the tying run to get the plate, so we're good with that," Kinsler said "If he gets dialed in for one hitter it's pretty tough. We definitely trust him. We love him out there."
Holland, who pitched a two-hitter through 8 1/3 said he he wasn't even a tad bit nervous after the walk.
"No, no, I have confidence in him every time he goes out," Holland said, but not without that little laugh unlike Kinsler. "I know he's going to go out there and get the job done."
Feliz needed just three pitches to retire Pujols on a fly ball to medium center field. Matt Holliday forced a 3-2 count in an eight-pitch at-bat, all 96-to-98-mph fastballs, before striking out swinging and that was that.
Feliz has six walks to just eight strikeouts this postseason, but the free passes, two -- both to his first batter -- in 1 2/3 innings of World Series relief, haven't come back to bite him. The 23-year-old has allowed just one run this postseason and that came back in the ALDS. While Game 5 was not a save situation, he is 5-for-5 in that category.
"I was a little bit excited, I lost a little bit of my control," Feliz said of his Game 4 outing through a translator. "I calmed down and I finally got to get my job done."
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