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August 06, 2011

Ron Washington continues to back Neftali Feliz

Neftali Feliz has blown his sixth save of the season, five of which have resulted in a Rangers loss. The latest came Saturday in a 7-5 loss to Cleveland in which Feliz surrendered two runs with a 4-3 lead and couldn't put away two Indians hitters when strikeouts were badly needed.

Manager Ron Washington, though, said that his confidence in Feliz remains high. Feliz, said Washington, wasn't the problem Saturday. The Indians were.

"He threw strikes," Washington said of Feliz, who threw 17 of his 25 pitches for strikes but failed register a strikeout. "I think you've got to tip your cap to the Indians. They put together some good at-bats."

Feliz was working for a third consecutive day, which Washington said shouldn't have been an issue because Feliz hadn't been taxed in the previous two outings. He won't work a fourth straight day Sunday. Mike Adams or Koji Uehara will.

Washington and general manager Jon Daniels said that the newly acquired set-up relievers have the ability to close games. As for now, though, they won't be replacing Feliz as closer even though he has twice as many blown saves as he did last year.

"My confidence is still high," Washington said. "When you give the ball to the closer, yeah, you feel good about the game being over. But there are no guarantees."

-- Jeff Wilson


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Feliz should have been replaced more quickly, especially with an Umpire with a tight strike zone.

The fundamental problem with Feliz is his inability to throw something other than a fastball. But what disturbs me further is that here is a player in his second year as a top reliever and he still relies on his fastball to save him and does not seem to even bothered to develop a second pitch. My question in all of this is who on the staff dropped the ball in motivating him to develop the second pitch in order to stay at a top level closer designation? With him at this level the Rangers will probably win their division but that is about it. Hopefully, the securing of Mike Adams will "motivate" Mr. Feliz to acquire the second pitch he needs!

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