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.
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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.
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.