Since I'm still buzzed from Thursday night's show at The Door, here's some Saturday morning jams from Rapsody and 9th Wonder:
● Jeff Wilson lauds the effort of the Rangers' bullpen in last night's series-opening win, which included a very special moment from Adrian Beltre that will enter the GIF of the Day Hall of Fame.
● Calvin Watkins highlights Neftali Feliz's disappointing effort last night (4.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 5 BB, 6 K), and includes this vaguely unsettling remark from Feliz via translator:
"I felt real uncomfortable trying to execute my pitches," Feliz said through an interpreter. "I was frustrated and I couldn't locate the pitches like I wanted to. I felt different. I wasn't executing. Every game is different. I just couldn't do what I wanted to do tonight."
And now for something from the Department of Bizarre Statistics: Feliz threw just 51 of his 101 pitches on the night for strikes. The Rangers hadn't endured such a poor strike rate from one of their starters since Derek Holland threw just 52 of 103 pitches for strikes on June 15th, 2011. Even stranger, though, is the fact that Feliz's six strikeouts are the most from any Rangers starting pitcher with such a poor strike rate during the recorded pitch count era. To find as many as five strikeouts in such a start, you'd have to dial all the way back to Aaron Myette, on September 4th, 2002 (3.0 IP, 5 K, 86 pitches, 43 strikes)
● Joe Nathan says that he felt great after pitching in his fourth consecutive game, and feels that he could even go on Saturday if the situation presented itself. I get the sense that there is still a little residual apprehension over Nathan stemming from his struggles during the first week of the season, but he's been a late-inning monster since the first week of the regular season, and most indications point towards Nathan maintaining his status as a serious late-inning asset. As of this moment, though, Nathan is on a 71.2-inning pace for the 2012 regular season; should that pace be maintained, he would have his highest single-season innings total since 2007.
I don't mind stress-testing Nathan to some degree, but I would also imagine that four consecutive appearances and five appearances in six days is about as far as you would dare to push Nathan's physical limits, what with that whole "37-year-old Tommy John survivor" thing still lingering around.
● In one of the great surprises of this still relatively young season, Nolan Ryan doesn't think the Rangers will sign Josh Hamilton during the season. I haven't been this disenchanted since the time I found out that Drake's interpretation of "freestyle rapping" involved reading verses off a Blackberry:
Ryan, the team's president and CEO, said the team hasn't exchanged numbers with Hamilton or his agent, Mike Moye, and won't until after the season.
"We haven't carried on negotiations in the season because we don't feel like it's fair to Josh and we don't want to do something that would be a distraction," Ryan said. "We certainly are in hopes that we're able to work a deal out with him, but I think they probably have the mindset that they'll go through the season and see what happens and see what the market is for Josh Hamilton.
Hamilton said he continues to pray about his free agency and where he will ultimately wind up. He doesn't know whether God will have him stay where it's "comfortable" in Texas or go somewhere that might be more "uncomfortable."