When looking at the debut season as a starting pitcher for Neftali Feliz, you have to go at it with the baby steps theory. No one expected Feliz to come in this season and be a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, though that's what the Texas Rangers see in his future, and rightfully so.
So even though Feliz wasn't dominant in Sunday's series-clinching win over the Los Angeles Angels, he took some steps forward and got a quality start out of the deal — about all you can ask against your chief rival on national television.
Feliz went six innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks and struck out five after throwing 107 pitches. The lone blemish on his line was after he walked a batter and served up a first-pitch monster blast to new Rangers killer Mark Trumbo, who became just the third Rangers opponent to ever hit a ball into the Lexus Club level in left field. It was a majestic shot that was a no-doubter, as long as it stayed fair. It did, and the Angels briefly took a 2-1 lead.
But it didn't shake Feliz, who did the opposite earlier this season in Toronto when a couple of home runs derailed the starter. This time, it didn't as Feliz regrouped and relaxed and got his team six strong innings.
It was another step in the evolution for Feliz as a starting pitcher.