When Kris Benson was sidelined with a sore elbow, Feldman got a chance to start again, a role in which he flourished to some degree in 2008. Over 10 2/3 innings pitched in two starts, Feldman has allowed four earned runs, posting a 1-0 record.
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If Manager Ron Washington needs any more convincing that Feldman belongs in the rotation, there’s a good chance he’ll get it on Wednesday night in Oakland.
The fact that, if Feldman posts a good outing, it will be his third in as many times as a starter is only secondary to the circumstances under which the game will be played.
Texas is only a half game back of the division-leading Mariners.
Seattle is in Kansas City, playing the somewhat surprising darling of the A.L. Central Royals. Kansas City has the third best team ERA in baseball; Seattle has the third lowest team batting average in the American League.
That is, Texas is toeing the precipice of a golden opportunity to overtake the A.L. West lead.
Even if Feldman fails to beat the Athletics tonight in Oakland, he’s probably made a good enough case to remain in the rotation, likely forcing Benson to be relegated to a long relief role when he returns.
In two starts in 2009, Benson has posted a 9.00 ERA, surrendering 16 hits and 11 earned runs in 11 innings pitched. The 34 year-old is averaging a walk for every strikeout; he is 1-1 on the year.
Texas will kick off a two-game set against the A's in Oakland tonight; first pitch is set for 9:05 CST.
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