ARLINGTON, Texas – The season may have slipped away from the Texas Rangers but don’t tell that to anyone in the bullpen.
Despite the trades of veterans Jason Frasor and Joakim Soria, the Texas bullpen has managed to hold up the back end of games for the pitching staff. In fact, despite four rookies on the staff, the bullpen is finding a way to excel.
Sunday the Rangers got two more scoreless innings from their relievers and the bullpen has now allowed just one run in the last 22 2/3 innings of work (0.40 ERA).
That work hasn’t gone unnoticed.
"They’ve done an outstanding job," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We’ve been sort of keeping ourselves in ballgames and they’re the reason why. I can’t say enough about what those young kids have come up here and done. (Roman) Mendez and (Phil) Klein the way he’s been pitching late. And (Alex) Claudio and we’ve still to wait and see what (Jon) Edwards can give us. It’s taken some of the load off the (Neal) Cotts and Neffy (Feliz). And(Shawn) Tolleson lately has been nails."
Klein has a string of four consecutive scoreless outings working while Claudio hasn’t allowed a run in his three appearances with Texas. Mendez also has a string out five outings without allowing a run working.
Sunday the Rangers went to the veteran trip of Tolleson, Cotts and Feliz to finish off the Los Angeles Angels 3-2. Tolleson and Cotts are the only two relievers who have been with the club since Opening Day.
Tolleson and Cotts worked out of trouble in the eighth inning and Feliz pitched a perfect ninth for his first win as a member of the Rangers since May 13, 2012, two months before he had Tommy John surgery.
"There’s no secret recipe because if there was we would have been doing it the whole year," said Tolleson, who has a 1.54 ERA over his last 11 outings. "It’s just a matter of executing pitches. I don’t have an excuse about why that wasn’t happening earlier in the year. But we feel good. We feel really strong and I think we’re all healthy and strong going into the end of the year."