Rangers manager Jeff Banister has been quoted saying he wants more “range” out of his bullpen. Another way of saying he needs alternate relievers to carry more of the workload so others can get rest. Last night is a prime example of that as Kevin Jespen came into the game in the ninth to shut the door on the A’s, and keep the game tied. But in classic Rangers fashion, both Jepsen and Jesse Chavez gave up a combined 6 runs to hand Oakland a 9-4 win at Globe Life Park.
“If we score in the eighth, we probably run [Kela] out there in a closing situation,” Banister said. “But not in a tie game. We need to find some range from our relievers.”
After allowing only one run in 17 innings through a 6 game road trip, the Texas bullpen has been in a drought this homestand. Allowing 18 runs over 14 innings, giving up 25 hits, five of which we’re homeruns. All of this in four games.
There’s a reason more relievers are having to throw more innings. Our starters are averaging just above 5 innings per start, forcing the bullpen to get going earlier than they would like. Until we can get on a roll of dishing out efficient starts on a consistent basis, this Rangers bullpen will have their work cut out for them.
Cole Hamels is scheduled to pitch tonight in Arlington. He has a record of 3-3 with a 4.11 ERA in eight career starts against the A’s. His only win this season came against Oakland on April 3, where he went five innings allowing only one run.
His approach has to be staying efficient, keeping his pitch count low, and going deep into tonights ball game.