At least for a day, Texas Rangers' reliever Frankie Francisco wasn't Texas Stadium. On a tense afternoon in Cleveland, he stopped imploding.
Francisco, demoted from closer after two blown saves last week, didn't fool anyone in Texas' 4-2, 10-inning victory, but he retired the side in order in the 9th. After Nelson Cruz' two-run homer, new closer Neftali Feliz took the ball and dismantled the Indians with an array of fastballs that clocked as fast as 102 mph.
Said manager Ron Washington, "That's the way the Rangers do it."
I don't know about that. I mean, the Rangers should've won in the 9th but didn't score a run despite loading the bases with no outs.
But I do know that Francisco looked better.
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His fastball was faster and two hard-hit balls conveniently came to rest in Rangers' gloves.
It's Cruz who's carrying the Rangers and so far pulling a pretty salty Albert Pujols impersonation. The right fielder leads the AL in homers, RBI and slugging percentage.
Frankie, meanwhile, is the first pitcher (2-2) in franchise history to have decisions in four of first seven games.
He looked better and Feliz looked awesome. But do you think the bullpen is fixed, or still a work in progress?