Neftali Feliz was a perfect 3-for-3 on save opportunities since taking the role back from Joakim Soria a couple of weeks ago after the Rangers' Opening Day closer was traded away to Detroit in the official white flag of being a seller prior to the trade deadline.
Feliz was a former AL Rookie of the Year and rookie saves record holder before flaming out in the 2011 World Series and going straight downhill from there as a failed starter who was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery that shelved him for more than a year.
His journey this season is well-documented. He failed to make the big club out of spring training, instead going to Round Rock and struggling at Triple-A while trying to regain his velocity, and his confidence. Both came, and he was promoted, and while the triple-digit heat was no longer there, he was still touching the mid-90s and getting guys out.
On Sunday, none of that happened for Feliz, who allowed a game-tying home run to former Ranger David Murphy on a grooved fastball that was lucky to tip 90 mph on the radar gun after several of his previous fastballs were clocked in the upper 80s.
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Neftali Feliz fastballs in the 80s are a disaster waiting to happen. The same goes for 90 mph. He's not a good enough, polished pitcher to get away with that stuff, especially for a closer. When you're talking high-80s heat, you're talking about guys like Greg Maddux, and Feliz is far from that.
You have to hope it was just a bad day in a process of reclamation for Feliz and it doesn't become a common thing, because the Rangers would love nothing more than for Feliz to enter the 2015 season as the team's unquestioned closer.
Sunday's debacle was just a reminder of how long Feliz has to go to get to that point.