ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 28: Scott Feldman #39 of the Texas Rangers pitches in the fifth inning during Game Seven of the MLB World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Remember back to 2009, if you will. Scott Feldman, a guy with a nasty sinker or a good cut fastball, came out of nowhere to win 17 games for a slightly above average Texas Rangers team and earned the status as the Opening Day starter for 2010.
Then, his wheels flew off. By the time the Rangers were making club history by not only winning their first playoff series but going all the way to their first World Series, Feldman was lost in the shuffle with ineffectiveness and knee problems.
This season, Feldman has been bounced around from bullpen to starting rotation and openly voiced his displeasure about it despite starting the season 0-6 with an ERA that reached 7.01. But now, he's on a bit of a hot streak despite his spotty appearances, having won four of his last five outings (three as a starter). And on Monday night, he gave the Rangers a masterful performance just hours after the club found out they'd lost the rock of their rotation, Colby Lewis, for the remainder of the season.
Feldman faced the top run-producing offense in all of baseball on Monday night and shut it down, allowing just a solo home run to former Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, striking out five and walking none while allowing seven hits over seven innings — his longest outing of the season.
"It was a tremendous outing," Rangers manager Ron Washington told reporters after the gem. "We certainly needed him to give us a chance tonight, and he went way beyond what we expected. We knew he had it in him. He had a crisp fastball, he had a good sinker working, he used his breaking ball. He really pitched well tonight, and we certainly needed it.”
Feldman gave a simple explanation to his success.
“My mechanics felt pretty good," Feldman said. "I just tried not to think about the extended rest that I had and just tried to go out there and compete, throw the ball into [catcher Mike Napoli's] glove and try and get some guys out.”
Hey, sounds like a good plan to us.