The closer-controversy alarm is sounding loudly in DFW after Wednesday's Rangers loss that featured the second straight bullpen collapse.
But this one was different than Tuesday's, which saw new relief pieces Tom Wilhelmsen and Tony Barnette lose hold of a tie game. Wednesday's loss featured all-out collapse by the winning pieces of the Rangers' pen — the part that was supposed to be impeccable entering the season.
It started with Keone Kela, who allowed a run in 2/3 of an inning, continued with Jake Diekman who walked the only batter he faced to score a run and finally ended when closer Shawn Tolleson couldn't get an out before he'd allowed five hits and five runs on just 14 pitches.
Even Sam Dyson, who many people feel could be the Rangers' closer, wasn't his usual dominant self despite a clean stat line (1 1/3 innings, no hits, no runs, one walk).
"It stinks," Tolleson said after the game when talking to reporters. "We never want to give up runs. We want to be a dominant bullpen. We haven't gotten it done in two games, so we just need to change it and turn it around. We had two bad days. Hopefully, we will have 12 good ones after this. And then the conversation will change."
For the record, knee-jerking over Thursday is both easy to do and stupid. The winning bullpen is still arguably the strength of this team, and all bullpens have bad days, but it was just early in the year for one.