You never want to see your starting pitcher exit a game in the second inning. Last week, when Derek Holland turned in a horrible start as the Texas Rangers lost 21-8 to the Seattle Mariners, it was the day before an off-day, meaning the bullpen would have a day to recharge its collective battery.
On Monday, the Rangers saw a near-exact duplicate of Holland's start as Scott Feldman, who's taking the place of the injured Neftali Feliz in the Rangers' rotation, went 1 2/3 innings, giving up eight runs in the second, just like Holland did. And just like Holland, he was dominant in the first inning. Very strange.
Feldman has now officially been awful since taking over for Feliz in the rotation. Constantly passively complaining about his role with the team, Feldman's welcome is wearing thin after his third straight poor start. Now, he says he wants another shot, but he might not get it.
Say Holland comes out tonight and has a similar outing to his last one, even if he lasts two more innings and gets roughed up in the fourth, the Rangers' bullpen will be toast after Robbie Ross went 2 1/3 innings Monday, Mark Lowe went an inning and Yoshi Tateyama went two innings before Craig Gentry came in and pitched the last inning. The good thing is, the Rangers' "winning relievers" such as Alexi Ogando, Mike Adams, Koji Uehara and Joe Nathan are all fresh, but if they have to be used in a losing situation tonight, that could really mess things up for the next five days when the Rangers will play five games before an off-day on Monday.
One option would be to send Tateyama back down to the minors and call up a fresh arm like Tanner Scheppers. Another would be to find another position player to pitch if things get bad again. The best option would be for Holland to bounce back and have a nice, crisp 7- or 8-inning start.
Face it, at this point, Feldman's days in the rotation are numbered, if not finished. And at this point, the Rangers are praying like hell that Roy Oswalt can be a serviceable fifth starter.