Bloops sting Scheppers in Rangers' loss
Reliever allows three hits as Giants tie game in eighth inning
ARLINGTON -- On the surface, Rangers right-hander Tanner Scheppers is an easy scapegoat for the Rangers' 9-7 loss to the Giants in 11 innings Saturday night at Globe Life Park.
Scheppers relieved Cole Hamels with two outs in the seventh inning and the Rangers up, 7-4. He faced three batters, allowing two doubles and a single. He was charged with two earned runs and allowed an inherited runner to score as the Giants tied the game.
But for Rangers manager Jeff Banister, it was not a horrendous outing for Scheppers.
The only truly well-hit ball was Matt Duffy's double to right field. Buster Posey hit a bloop that became a double because, ironically, the Rangers were in a no-doubles alignment. With the outfield back, the bloop fell and bounced away from Leonys Martin as he hustled in and nearly ran into Elvis Andrus.
Hunter Pence hit a single to tie the game, but Banister said Scheppers made a good pitch. Scheppers threw a low curveball that Pence was able to flick into shallow right field. Scheppers did not get ground balls or miss bats, but he wasn't totally rocked.
"Really felt like he made some good pitches and just came out on the wrong end," Banister said.
In the box score, Scheppers was charged with a blown save, and it was only the second time in the past 15 seasons that a Rangers pitcher allowed hits to all three-plus batters faced in a blown save. The situation is magnified because it involves Scheppers, who remains a polarizing option out of the bullpen.
"You break two bats and you take that inning any day of the week, really," Scheppers said. "They ended up finding holes. It's definitely frustrating. I'm really getting sick of it, and I know the fans are. Just got to come out tomorrow, dust it off and do it again."
Scheppers opened the season with an 11.25 ERA in his first five outings before he was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock. He returned May 17 and has lowered his season ERA to 5.66, but he's allowed 10 earned runs in his past 7 1/3 innings.
The part that's easy to forget?
There have also been times when Scheppers was good. Before Saturday, he had thrown three scoreless innings in his last three games. He has allowed runs in 14 of 38 appearances and at one point had his ERA down to 3.90.
For Scheppers -- who had a 1.88 ERA in 76 appearances in 2013 -- the problem remains finding consistency.
"It's just been a battle all year," Scheppers said. "I just have to turn the page and move on."