ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 14: Scott Feldman #39 of the Texas Rangers delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on June 14, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
There hasn't been a bigger season of peaks and valleys for a Texas Ranger in recent memory than that of Scott Feldman.
Feldman started the season in the bullpen with moderate success after an earth-shattering spring as a starter that still wasn't enough to earn him a spot in the starting rotation entering the season because of the team's incredible depth there, which obviously now has disappeared.
Thanks to injuries, Feldman got the chance he'd been pining for and was able to become a spot starter, when he promptly put up an 0-6 record in his first six starts with a 7.36 ERA and was called on to be cut loose by Rangers fans as it seemed they had lost all leverage they ever had with him on the trade market. It was bad.
On June 19, he picked up a win against an awful San Diego Padres club and had a decent outing. In his next start, he gave up four runs in five innings, but was able to get a win over the Oakland A's to improve to 2-6. He made another start (no-decision) and then got a win out of the bullpen against the Minnesota Twins.
Since that point, he's been the best pitcher the Rangers have going.
On July 23 against the Boston Red Sox, Feldman gave up one run in seven innings. His next start against the Ranger-killing White Sox was even better as he threw eight shutout innings before going 7 2/3 innings against the Kansas City Royals last week. Now, he's 6-6. Since that start against the Red Sox, Feldman is 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA with 14 strikeouts and one lonesome walk, looking more like his spring training days when he was a K:BB monster.
Will it last? It's hard to say, but he'll get another chance tonight against another hot-hitting lineup in the Detroit Tigers. If he can win his seventh straight start, he could further cement his name into the rotation for the remainder of the season, which is all he's ever wanted.