Scott Feldman delivers when needed most
ARLINGTON, Texas -- When news came down before Monday night's game against the Boston Red Sox that Texas Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis would be lost for the season, it was easy to have a bleak outlook.
|Rangers president Nolan Ryan weighs in on the team's ravaged rotation, potential trade prospects, Josh Hamilton's slump and more.
And when the Rangers needed a boost the most, Scott Feldman rose to the occasion and delivered his best performance of the season. Coupled with some rare run support, the Rangers steamrolled the Red Sox, 9-1.
"It was a tremendous outing," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We certainly needed him to give us a chance tonight, and he went way beyond what we expected. We knew he had it in him. He had a crisp fastball, he had a good sinker working, he used his breaking ball. He really pitched well tonight, and we certainly needed it.”
Feldman pitched seven innings for the first time this season and allowed one run on seven hits and no walks while striking out five against a Boston team that leads the AL in runs scored. The lone run came on a solo home run by former Ranger Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the second inning. The Rangers' season-high nine runs of support for Feldman certainly didn't hurt his outing either.
“My mechanics felt pretty good," Feldman said. "I just tried not to think about the extended rest that I had and just tried to go out there and compete, throw the ball into Nap’s glove and try and get some guys out.”
Feldman has bounced back and forth between starting and relieving all season. But after an 0-6 start to the season, Feldman has won his last four decisions. Feldman said the key to his turnaround is his attitude.
"I just try to keep a good attitude and not think of anything negative," He said. "I think that’s a big thing in this game, attitude. There’s a lot of negative things that you can think about and maybe sometimes I’m guilty of thinking too many negative things. I’ve just got to stay positive and not think of anything more than just making my pitch.”
With Feldman's stock trending upward, his performance against the Red Sox makes for an intriguing case as to why he could fill Lewis' spot in the rotation. Washington said he is not ready to anoint a new starter yet, but Feldman has the pedigree to compete at a high level.
"Feldman won 17 games for us before, so he knows what it’s like to go out on that rubber and maintain and get things done," Washington said. "We’re very fortunate to have a veteran like him, that when the opportunity presents itself he can go out there and keep us in the ballgame. Tonight he gave us seven innings with one run. That was huge. That was real big. Especially the way we’re starting to lose pitching.”
The Rangers still have time before the trade deadline to pursue an ace and put an effective band-aid on the rotation for the rest of the season. But perhaps if a trade does not work out, Texas could have a sufficient backup plan ready in their locker room.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.