ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 25: Robbie Ross #46 of the Texas Rangers throws against the New York Yankees at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 25, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
After Yu Darvish hit a bit of a stumbling block in the seventh inning of his return from the DL on Monday night, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington turned the game over to his bullpen, which has unquestionably been the strength of his team this season.
Darvish left after recording an out in the seventh inning and gave way to Robbie Ross with two runners on base. After giving up seven runs in his final eight appearances leading up to the all-star break, Ross has gone back to being his dominant self in two appearances post-break.
That continued on Monday night when he faced just one batter, Travis Hafner, but got a key grounder to start an inning-ending double play and kill the Yankees' best chance to get on the scoreboard on the night. That gave way to set-up man Tanner Scheppers, who struggled just as badly as Ross leading up to the break and lost some set-up time to Joakim Soria. Scheppers was up to the task as well, as he also worked his second game post-break and, like Ross, has not given up a run in that time yet.
Scheppers got a strikeout in a 1-2-3 eighth inning to set the game up for all-star closer Joe Nathan to get his 31st save in 32 chances this season.
With Ross and Scheppers seemingly refreshed after a much-needed break and reinforcements in like Soria, coupled with the now-bolstered starting rotation, the Rangers' pitching staff could be one of the best in the AL as a whole.