Neftali Feliz to be handled like Joba?

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Much has been made about the impact that Nolan Ryan has had on the Texas Rangers pitching staff – how extending pitch counts produces positive results, how pitchers these days are babied too much, etc. However, it sounds like that mantra doesn’t apply to all Texas pitchers.

Word is the Rangers will be handling phenom Neftali Feliz similar to how the Yankees dealt with Joba Chamberlain back in 2007. No back-to-back appearances, and for every inning pitched, he gets a day off.
It’s unclear if Texas manager Ron Washington will strictly follow these guidelines as we get closer to the playoffs. It’s fine to implement restrictions in late August, but what happens during those two late-September series against the Angels if Vlad Guerrero comes up in a big spot on back-to-back nights? Or when the Rays come to town on that second-to-last weekend of the year, and the two teams are fighting for the Wild Card – do they still hold Feliz back?
It’ll be a situation worth monitoring, particularly if 1) the Rangers stay in the race and/or 2) other relievers start blowing games and Feliz turns out to be Washington’s most reliable arm in the pen.
The Yankees could afford to do what they did with Joba in 2007 because they won the Wild Card by six games. In the playoffs that year, the Joba Rules were supposedly lifted, although in part because of the spread out schedule, we never saw Joba in back-to-back nights.
Do you agree with what the Rangers are doing? Is Nolan Ryan being hypocritical at all here, or is it a different scenario? Let us know in the comments.

Red Sox set a new major league record with 11 strikeouts in a row

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez #52 of the Boston Red Sox works the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.

The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.

For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dodgers clinch NL West on Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Charlie Culberson #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to first base after hitting a single RBI in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.

The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.

Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.

It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.