Sunday night's game against the AL West rival Los Angeles Angels had all the makings early on as a disaster for the Texas Rangers.
Yu Darvish struggled with his command right from the get-go and had a rough first inning before having to exit after just five innings thanks to a blister re-forming on his right ring finger that had originally surfaced in Darvish's 2013 debut against the Astros that was one out shy of perfection.
That brought on the Rangers' bullpen into a 4-3 game for the final four innings of a tight rubber game against the rival Angels, and the still-uncertain bullpen passed with flying colors, highlighted by a stellar outing from Tanner Scheppers.
Robbie Ross gave up two hits in the sixth inning but got out of the inning with a big inning-ending strikeout of Erick Aybar before Scheppers took over for the seventh and eighth inning. The longtime prospect appears to have a firm stranglehold on the setup role, at least until Joakim Soria is healthy, after turning in a perfect eighth and allowing just one hit in the seventh.
That, of course, gave way to Joe Nathan who closed out the game in a non-save situation.
With Soria and Neftali Feliz rehabbing injuries, with Soria expected back before Feliz, the Rangers could be loaded in the back of the bullpen if this keeps up for Scheppers, who so far has allowed two hits in 3 2/3 scoreless innings.