A few scattered thoughts on what transpired yesterday in the conclusion to one of the strangest series I can recall:
- Let's properly contextualize the rarity of Michael Young's game-tying eighth-inning, an opposite-field shot which carried the unusual distinction of being poked out on a three-ball, no-strike count: of his 1,915 career hits, only four (one in 2009, two in 2007, and one in 2004) have been more valuable on the win probability scale. Of the 2,209 home runs clubbed by American League hitters last season, only 16 -- or 0.7 percent -- were hit on 3-0 counts such as Young's was. And going into yesterday's game, Young had a lifetime offensive showing on three-ball, no-strike counts of 1-for-2 (double) with a grand total of 84 walks. To say that this was a rather unique moment in Young's career would not be an understatement.
- The Rangers keep on using Neftali Feliz, and he continues to reward their everlasting faith by looking out of sorts while only vaguely resembling the pitcher that he was last year in terms of command, sharpness, and confidence -- and now his ineffectiveness has reached a stage where he can't even finish out an inning, with Ron Washington being forced to yank him from the ninth inning for the geriatric wonder Arthur Rhodes. The company line is that Feliz is healthy and his season-long struggles can be traced to him "slumping" (in the words of Washington) and lacking mechanics (in the words of Feliz), but I think we're quickly coming up on the point where he's either going to have to flash some sustainable improvement or, at the very least, find himself bumped to a lower-leverage role.