Feliz Gets it Done With Fastball | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Feliz Gets it Done With Fastball

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Neftali Feliz has been struggling to find his fastball since his return from Tommy John surgery late last season.

    After his surgery in 2012, Feliz returned to the Rangers via September call-up in 2013 and was good in low-leverage situations.

    Ever since re-assuming the closer's role this summer when the Rangers dealt Joakim Soria to Detroit, Feliz has struggled to consistently find his velocity that made him one of the game's most feared closers before a failed starting rotation experiment that led to the elbow injury.

    On Sunday, Feliz notched his eighth save of the season in a 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners to avoid a four-game sweep, and he did it with his ol' buddy, the fastball.

    Feliz touched 97 mph on the pitch, and it was the only pitch he threw in his inning of work. That's right, 20 pitches, 20 fastballs, three outs and a save.

    There have been a few times this year when Feliz has struggled  to hit 90 mph with his fastball, and he doesn't have the secondary stuff to pitch that way. When Feliz was at his best in 2010 and 2011, he was consistently hitting 97 and 98 and would touch triple-digits. Now, it's a rarity to see him hit the upper 90s like he did on Sunday.

    But who knows? Maybe Sunday's performance was a sign of good things to come, and maybe the Rangers have their closer set for next season. Only time — or his next bad outing — will tell.