Old Reliables Blow First Game of Year

This whole Neftali Feliz DL stint is getting kind of old if you're a Texas Rangers fan.

The idea of having Darren Oliver (age 40) and Arthur Rhodes (41) closing games was never an ideal one, but in the interest of full disclosure, Monday's blown save against the A's was the first time the Rangers have lost a game they led after 8 innings this year.

But make no mistake, the Rangers are champing on the bit to get Feliz back in the bullpen, which is scheduled to happen on Friday when they begin a three-game home series against the Yankees.

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On Monday, Rhodes came in to pitch the eighth inning after Derek Holland put in seven strong innings to presumably hold the lead for Oliver to come in in the ninth and close it out.

But things didn't go well as Rhodes gave up a solo blast to Josh Willingham to tie the game. Then in the bottom of the 10th inning, Hideki Matsui turned on the first pitch he saw from Oliver and sent it into the stands, sending the Rangers to Seattle with a 3-1 series loss.

Oliver and Rhodes have performed about as well as anyone could've expected in the pressure-packed closer's role since Feliz was shelved last week, but it's time to get the reigning AL Rookie of the Year back on the mound in the ninth inning, and that can finally happen on Friday, putting Oliver and Rhodes back in their 7th/8th inning roles.

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