Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Walks shorten Scott Feldman's outing
By Master Tesfatsion
SEATTLE -- Scott Feldman hasn't been announced as a permanent replacement for Neftali Feliz in the Rangers' rotation, but he looked like the other two starting pitchers during the three-game series with the Mariners in one way: He allowed walks to turn into runs.
He didn't top Yu Darvish's six-walk performance Monday, but he came close. Feldman's command was shaky in the second and fifth innings in Wednesday's 5-3 loss. His five walks gave the Mariners 13 free trips to first base off the Rangers' starters, including Matt Harrison, this series. It resulted in seven of the Mariners' 12 runs in three days.
Feldman walked the bases loaded to start the second against the Mariners' Nos. 3, 4 and 5 hitters. Michael Saunders' sacrifice fly would score the only run 0f the inning thanks to a couple of groundouts, but it resulted in an early 1-0 deficit.
Feldman seemed to find a groove, retiring eight straight heading into the fifth, but that inning started with a walk to Saunders. Mike Carp followed with a single, and an error by Ian Kinsler at second base advanced runners to second and third. Feldman intentionally walked Dustin Ackley to load the bases up for Alex Liddi with one out, and Liddi made Feldman pay on the first pitch. The grand slam on an inside fastball barely cleared the left-field wall over the scoreboard, but it was four runs nonetheless.
"Walking that many guys, I was dodging bullets all day, and then finally they got me in the fifth there. It finally caught up to me," Feldman said.
Robbie Ross entered the game, ending Feldman's night after five runs allowed on three hits and five walks in 4 1/3 innings.
Feldman hadn't thrown in eight days entering Wednesday's contest, and it was only his eighth appearance this season.
"I’ve been doing as good as I can to try and stay sharp," Feldman said. "The last couple times just haven’t been good."
Rangers manager Ron Washington said he isn't going to hold too much of this start against Feldman when judging him as a possible replacement for Feliz. Washington said Feldman made one bad pitch.
"It’s unfortunate that the one that he made put four runs on him," Washington said. "I thought he was doing a good job.
"There's decisions to be made and we'll make decisions, but you can't put that on Scotty."
Although Washington hasn't made any commitment, Feldman is preparing with the intention of starting Tuesday when what had been Feliz's turn comes up in the rotation.
"My fastball was decent but all the other pitches were lacking the command that I need," Feldman said. "I'm going to work really hard these next few days in between starts and throw a lot of pitches and work on that kind of stuff."