Things haven't been going very well for Tanner Scheppers lately.
Of course, there was the infamous fight incident in Cleveland when the Rangers were swept and were forced to have a closed-door meeting before leaving Cleveland that Sunday.
Of course, the Rangers have been on a tear since that low point, but Scheppers' hard times have continued throughout August, for the most part.
He surrendered a walk-off hit on Saturday night in Chicago and had the horrible, horrible outing against the Houston Astros in a game the Rangers eventually won despite his ineptitude that night.
On Monday night, in a Rangers blowout, manager Ron Washington let Scheppers come in to close out the game in the ninth inning, and he was successful. There was no pressure on Monday. On Tuesday, it was ratcheted up tenfold.
Scheppers entered the game in the bottom of the ninth inning of a 3-3 game after Neal Cotts had allowed the first two Mariners hitters to reach base, leaving runners at first and second with no outs for Scheppers to try to strand. And Scheppers did it easily.
He induced a weak pop-up and then make rookies Nick Franklin and Brad Miller look like Little Leaguers, blowing both out of the water with his 96 and 97 mph high heat. Disaster averted, thanks to Scheppers.
“My job is go out and minimize damage,” Scheppers told ESPNDallas.com. “Luckily the team has confidence to keep sending me out there.”
If he can keep pitching like that down the stretch, Washington will be doing that a lot more.