When you're in last place and have the worst record in baseball, it's hard to call any win truly "big," but on Wednesday night in Oakland, the Texas Rangers had a huge one.
And with a manageable game on the brink of turning into a blowout was shaping up in the bottom of the eighth inning, interim manager went to the struggling Robbie Ross to try to get out of an epic jam. With the Rangers trailing 1-0, the A's loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the eighth before Bogar went to Ross, and the lefty proceeded to get two quick outs to end the inning before the Rangers stormed back to score six runs in the top of the ninth inning off A's closer Sean Doolittle.
After the Rangers made the game a non-save situation in the top of the ninth, closer Neftali Feliz took a seat in the bullpen and the Rangers let Ross go back out for the ninth, which ended up being a clean inning to give Ross his third win of the season.
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Ross, of course, was a great reliever for the Rangers in 2012 and 2013 before being thrust into the starting rotation due to mass casualties at the start of the season. He failed miserably as a starter, moved back to the bullpen and continued to be terrible before being demoted.
He's now sporting a 6.39 ERA, more than two full runs above his career ERA, which was elevated because of his awful year. You're talking about a guy that had an ERA in the 1s in 2012 and the low 3s in 2013.
The Rangers are crossing their fingers that Ross can rebound in 2015 and get back to that form as a shutdown middle-inning reliever. If not, he'll be the latest in a line of failed bullpen-to-rotation experiments.