ARLINGTON, Texas – It’s a good thing Rangers pitcher Scott Feldman called it an early night on Monday.
On Tuesday, he was pressed into duty against Oakland when scheduled starter Yu Darvish showed up with a stiff neck.
“It’s not like I went out last night and had 30 beers or anything,” said Feldman, who made his last start Sept. 15 against Seattle. “I was fine. I came in and did my normal stuff, stayed in for BP and was ready to go.”
Feldman gave the Rangers four innings and left with the score tied, 2-2, after throwing 75 pitches (46 strikes).
He recorded five strikeouts in what was eventually a 3-2 loss in 10 innings. A pair of walks wound up costing Feldman a run in the second inning, then he gave up a solo shot in the fourth to Chris Carter.
The night before, the Rangers were forced to use five relievers when starter Derek Holland lasted just three innings. After Feldman’s four innings, the Rangers could not produce another run and wound up using another five relievers.
The Rangers have two games remaining in the series with Oakland, which trails by four games in the AL West.
“I wanted to go as long as I could,” Feldman said. “I would have loved to throw a hundred [pitches] or something like that. Especially because I know the way the bullpen’s been taxed. Those guys did a great job coming in behind me and hopefully everybody gets their rest and we’re ready to go tomorrow.”
Although starting pitchers are creatures of routine, Feldman, who has been in and out of the rotation this season, said it wasn’t difficult to get ready on short notice.
“I saw Yu when he was walking in and he just said he had a really stiff neck,” Feldman said. “From there I just kept my guard up and was ready in case. Then [pitching coach Mike] Maddux told me about 3 o’clock, 3:30, something like that.”
Rangers manager Ron Washington said Darvish’s neck improved during the game, but it’s too soon to say when he can pitch. Martin Perez remains the starter for Wednesday’s game.