The Rangers seemed like they were on their way to their first ever postseason series win, when Ian Kinsler homered in the 7th inning giving the Rangers a 2-1 lead. Once the Rangers got the lead, it looked like the game was in their hands because of the pitching staff’s performance so far in the series. The Rangers pitchers pitched amazingly for the first 25 innings of the first 3 games of the series allowing only 2 runs.
Then Tampa Bay’s offense then came around and put up 5 runs against the Ranger’s pen in the 8th and the 9th inning. In the first two previous games, Tampa had just 8 total hits. In the 8th and 9th alone, they got 6 hits including 2 home runs.
The main problem was that of the 6 relievers brought in by Texas in the game, 5 allowed a hit and 4 of them allowed a run to score. Besides Darren O’Day being brought in to just face (and strikeout) B.J. Upton in the 8th inning, not one reliever was able to shutdown the Rays while pitching. Here is how each of the other Texas relievers fared:
Derek Holland faced 3 batters allowing a hit and a walk.
Alexi Ogando faced 2 batters allowing a double.
Darren Oliver faced 7 batters allowing 2 doubles and a single.
Neftali Feliz faced 4 batters allowing a home run and a single and a walk
Dustin Nippert faced 5 batters a home run and a single.
Over the four innings of work, the relievers allowed a AVG/OBP/SLG slash line of: 0.474/0.525/0.843. Ouch.
The Rangers have two more chances to close out the series starting tomorrow. In order to get another win, they can not have anything close to the group effort blowup that the bullpen exhibited today.