A look at this year's stats for Nick Tepesch stacked up with his 2013 statistics is quite an interesting study.
Heading into his start Thursday against the Houston Astros, Tepesch has pitched 93 innings — his exact total from the entire 2013 season. His ERA? It stands at 4.45, nearly 40 points lower than his 2013 ERA of 4.84. Also interesting, Tepesch has had one less start this year to reach the 93-inning mark. His strikeouts are way down this season, from 76 to 46, but clearly that's not a bad thing as many of his other numbers are better.
The Rangers see Tepesch as a mid-rotation starter moving forward, and he's shown a lot this season by progressing as a 25-year-old righty who will be 26 when the Rangers report to Surprise, Arizona for spring training in February.
Prior to Tepesch's last start, when he tied a season high with six earned runs allowed in 6 1/3 innings, the young righty was on a roll. Before that start against the Royals, he'd pitched seven innings and allowed just two runs in two consecutive outings against the Rays and Angels.
On Thursday night against a cold, cold Astros lineup, Tepesch will need to bounce back and bounce back in a big way to start another solid run as the season comes to a close with a likely four more starts coming after Thursday night's.