Aug 17, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Nick Tepesch (23) throws during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers: Nick Tepesch a bright spot in the rotation

After losing twice by a score of 5-4, Nick Tepesch and the Texas Rangers finally figured out a way to beat the Los Angeles Angels.  The series against the Los Angeles Angels looked to be a pretty tough one.  The Angels have been on a good tear most of the season and appear to have a good chance to in the American League West.  They are finally at the top of the division for the first time since the 2011 season (May 15).

During the last series when the Rangers faced the Angels things went pretty bad.  First of all Colby Lewis was banged up for 13 runs (10 earned) over 2.1 innings.   They were swept in that 4-game series by a run total of 33-15.  For the Rangers this series went a lot better and it was impart because both the starting rotation and the bullpen did a good job to contain the power hitting Angels.  

Since the All-star break the pitching for the Texas Rangers has improved.  Before the break the starters had  a 5.20 ERA and the relievers had a 4.50 ERA.  Since the break starters have a 4.96 ERA and the relievers have a 3.13 ERA.

Yesterday’s great start by right-handed pitcher Nick Tepesch helped again lower the ERA for starters.   Over his last 2 starts he has only given up 10 hits and 4 runs over 14 innings (7.0 each outing).   Under a normal season when the Rangers are not in the dog house of summer that wouldn’t be news worthy.  But, putting together back-to-back starts going 7.0 innings has been tough for this club.

Nick Tepesch did get himself in a few jams yesterday during the second and fourth inning, but managed to keep his head in the game.   Tepesch did a good job at keeping the Angels power hitter Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun and Albert Pujols in key situations off-balanced.

“That second inning could have really gotten ugly,” Washington said. “In the past, that may have, but that’s the new Nick Tepesch. He’s able to slow it down, and he was executing pitches all day, he didn’t let traffic bother him, he kept us in the ballgame and gave us a chance.”  (ESPN Dallas – Calvin Watkins)

Since July Nick Tepesch has managed to lower his ERA from 7.15 to 4.15 over his last 3 starts and has picked up a win.  Over those 3 starts he’s been able to have better command of his fastball, sinker and slider, which has seemed to gain him more ground outs.  During the month of July he had a GO/AO ratio of .54 and for the month of August it has increased to .88.   

With just a little under a month and half left in the season it seems that Nick Tepesch is pitching well enough to put his name in the mix for the starting rotation in 2015.  He’s pitched well in the past and seems to be settling in well again this season.  It was very impressive to see him handle the power heavy Los Angeles Angels.

This has been a very forgettable season, but Nick Tepesch is making a mark that at least Jon Daniels and Ron Washington won’t forget when spring training starts next February.  If the Texas Rangers are going to be contenders in what is shaping up to be a very tough American League West division, then they’ll need players like Nick Tepesch to step up to the next level.

 

 

 

Tags: Albert Pujols Jon Daniels Kole Calhoun Nick Tepesch Texas Rangers

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