Is Tanner Scheppers finding his form again?
Only days before the Rangers arrived in Seattle, Scheppers had two of the worst outings of his career. He gave up two runs on three hits with a couple of wild pitches and hit batters against the Astros and then a run on three hits in a loss to the White Sox. It capped a very difficult stretch for Scheppers. The young reliever posted a 4.76 ERA in his last 17 innings before the trip to Seattle. Opponents were hitting .333 against him. Included in that span was his black eye on the streets of Cleveland. It just wasn't a 6-week stretch to remember for Scheppers
Before June 30, when the struggles began, Scheppers was an All-Star caliber reliever. He posted a 1.11 ERA in his first 40 2/3 innings. Opponents hit just .168 against him. Did he experience some fatigue? Very possible.
But the last two games in Seattle has seen the return of the Scheppers that we all saw early in the season. He needed just seven pitches to get three outs in the first game of the Rangers' three-game sweep of the Mariners. That was with a 5-run lead. But the next night, in a tie game, Scheppers came in and got two strikeouts and pitched out of a jam. He didn't allow a hit in either appearance and his command was solid. His fastball hit 97 mph more than a handful of times those two nights.
It was a good sign that Scheppers is finding it again. And that would be huge for this team. They need Scheppers as they shut down guy late in close games down the stretch and into the postseason.
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.