.356/.418/.661 looks like a pretty good batting line doesn’t it? Well, I mean it is a really good line. That is, unless you are a pitcher and that’s the batting line for hitters against you. It’s even worse if you are a collection of pitchers and that’s the combined batting line of hitters facing you in the 9th inning. That’s exactly what the Texas Rangers have faced coming into today in 2010.
Yeah, opponents batting line is a mediocre way to evaluate individual pitchers. I used it just to offer up a feel for how much offense has been produced against the Rangers’ during that almost always crucial inning.
The lion’s share of time in that frame has been taken up by Frank Francisco to begin the season and after he faltered in tremendous fashion, Neftali Feliz was elevated to the closer’s role, but he has been ignominous as well. Francisco faced 28 batters and yielded three extra-base hits, four walks and punched out five. Feliz has faced 22 so far and given up four extra-base hits, but has just one walk allowed to the same five strikeouts.
With four blown saves and just three actual saves, the Rangers are currently one of just seven teams suffering more blown opportunities than converted. Again, as poor of a statistic as saves are for evaluating individual pitchers; on a team-level, they can illustrate the general level of frustration that a fanbase might be currently having with its team’s relievers. Faced with a division projected to be tight, Ranger fans might be boiling already, well ahead of the Texas summer heat.
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