"Don't tell me what it is," Lowe said. "I don't want to know. We'll just keep pitching and focusing on getting each guy out."
They've done that well recently, throwing 15 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball heading into tonight's game against the Minnesota Twins. It's the longest scoreless streak for Texas relievers since they had 28 1/3 shutout innings from May 1-10, 2008.
"We have fun out there and we've got a lot of good arms," Lowe said. "It starts from the top down with Joe Nathan. He's done a solid job and guys have just kept that going. The young arms are really doing the job."
That "young" group includes Michael Kirkman (25), Robbie Ross (23), Tanner Scheppers (25) and Alexi Ogando (28). Not that Lowe is an old guy by any stretch, but at 29, he's one of the veterans on the staff. Mike Adams is 34, Roy Oswalt turns 35 in less than a week and Nathan is 37. But the way that the entire group is pitching has allowed manager Ron Washington to use everyone, rather than rely on just a few.
"In the beginning, especially the young guys that are stepping up right now, they were more or less getting their feet wet, trying to figure out what they can do and what they can’t do," Washington said. "There was a period there where every time they took the ball, I had to go to somebody else. Finally things started clicking for them."
Washington said Scheppers has started to get his secondary stuff over and is using his changeup. Washington credits his work with pitching coach Mike Maddux and bullpen coach Andy Hawkins for the improvement. He added that Kirkman has always had the stuff to succeed, he just has to throw more pitches for strikes and he's now doing that.
"It’s not the same guys every night," Washington said. "There was a point where it didn’t matter who I brought in, I always had to go to Mike Adams and I had to go to Joe Nathan. But they’re preventing that now because they’re starting to have some success. And we’re showing confidence in them that we’ll bring them anytime now."
* The Texas Rangers and Mike Napoli are hoping for a Sept. 1 return, but that will depend on how quickly he can go out on a rehab assignment. And Napoli, who is dealing with a sore left quad, still has to run the bases and show that he can catch bullpens and squat on the quad with no issues before he can then be shipped out to play games. Washington acknolwedged that he doesn't expect to see Napoli before Sept. 1 and that if Napoli isn't with the Rangers by then, hopefully he's participating in a rehab assignment.
* Oswalt is expected to be able to throw about 25 more pitches than he did last time, which would put him at 85 to 90 pitches. "He’ll let us know where he is according to the sound of the bats of the Minnesota Twins and where we are in the ballgame," Washington said. "Right now his intention is to keep the ball as long as he possibly can. The pitch count will come in when he has stressful innings."
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- There are no games scheduled for today.