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Thoughts on a 3-1 Rangers win

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Break out the champale, its a two game winning streak!

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 3, ChiSox 1

  • A two game winning streak?  Holy crap...this is the first time in over a month the Rangers have won two games in a row.  And they've done it on the road, no less.
  • Given that this season is about development, the story of the day was the performance of Nick Tepesch.  On a pitch limit of 80-85 pitches because he missed his last start with a knee issue, Tepesch went 5.2 IP, threw 55 strikes out of 79 pitches, allowed 6 hits and a walk, struck out a pair, and didn't allow any runs.  Tepesch's ERA on the season is now down to 4.55.  Tepesch is never going to strike out a ton of batters, but if he throws strikes and keeps the ball in the park, he'll be a nice back-end starter, and he's continuing to show signs he can potentially fill that role in 2015.
  • Evan Grant wrote this morning about the possibility of Colby Lewis returning for 2015, as well.  If -- and its a huge if -- but if the Rangers can slot Lewis and Tepesch in as decent #4 and #5 starters, with Yu and Holland at the top of the rotation, that allows them to devote a lot more resources towards landing one really good pitcher to add at the top of the rotation to join Yu and Holland.  That would be a good thing, and Tepesch and Lewis performing the final two months may put the Rangers in a situation where that's an option they consider.
  • Neal Cotts got five outs, fanning a pair and walking a batter.  Ron Washington, interestingly, left Cotts in to start the ninth against lefty slugger Adam Dunn before bringing in Neftali Feliz.  I think that's the right move, but its a bit uncharacteristic for Wash.
  • Speaking of uncharacteristic...Neftali Feliz, who was throwing 89-90 mph fastball his last time out, was throwing in the 93-96 range today, and struck out both batters he faced.  I know there are a lot of people who have given up on Feliz, but its clear that he still has the velocity to be a quality relief pitcher...that velocity just isn't there every game.  Again, this is something to watch the rest of the season, but some pitchers take longer than others to get all the way back from Tommy John Surgery, and as Feliz continues to work his way back, if he can get to where he can consistently throw in the mid-90s, he can be a valuable piece in the bullpen in 2015.
  • Roman Mendez allowed the lone run today, a home run to Dayan Viciedo.  His audition for 2015 continues.
  • The Rangers only had 5 hits and two walks today, but two of those five hits were home runs by Adam Rosales.  Yes, that Adam Rosales.  Pretty remarkable.
  • Elvis Andrus also had a two hit game, as well as a walk, though he was caught stealing twice.  One of the things we've talked about is wanting to see Elvis be more productive with the bat over the final two months, and he's been on a bit of a hot streak lately, which has gotten his wRC+ up to 84 on the season.
  • Off day tomorrow.  A two game winning streak going into an off day is nice.