ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 21: Scott Feldman #39 of the Texas Rangers delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on August 21, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
There's a laundry list of reasons for the Texas Rangers' collapse this year, and it wasn't just a product of the season's final week — it was a long time coming. As part of a series, we'll take a look at some of those issues.
Today, we'll look at the No. 5 spot in the Rangers' pitching rotation.
Make no mistake, you don't expect your No. 5 starter to win every start, or anywhere close to that. But you also don't expect your No. 5 starter to lose 10 of the last 11 starts of the season, which is, of course, magnified when you end up losing the AL West on the final day of the season and being stuck in the AL Wild Card Game instead of the ALDS. That's exactly what happened to the Rangers in 2012.
The Rangers lost seven of Scott Feldman's final eight starts of the season before he was replaced in the rotation by rookie lefty Martin Perez, who clearly was just not ready to pitch in pressure situations in September, as he lost his three starts, going no more than four innings in any of them.
It's easy to look back and nit-pick games here and there when you lose the division you led all year on the season's final day, but to look at the back of the Rangers' rotation, which was deep in 2010 and 2011, and see that is a bit disheartening.