This one goes to eleven.
No doubt motivated by his buddy Derek Holland to put it to San Antonio for a second straight night and give Frisco a 2-0 lead in the teams’ best-of-five playoff series, Neftali Feliz racked up the following numbers tonight:
Seven innings pitched.
Three hits (none after the fourth inning).
Eleven strikeouts (including nine in the first four innings).
Ninety-eight pitches, 65 for strikes.
While not as flashy a number, a little quick math reveals a figure just as phenomenal as all the rest: Feliz averaged 14 pitches per inning.
That’s a very good number.
That’s an almost inconceivable number when half the outs you record are by strikeout. They don’t award those on just one or two pitches.
There may not be half a dozen better pitching prospects in the game right now.
And there’s probably not a better tandem than the 20-year-old Feliz and the 22-year-old Holland.
[Photos courtesy of Scott Lucas]
I’m going to allow myself to blur my vision of those two photos just slightly enough to imagine Feliz and Holland in those alternate solid reds that were mentioned in the papers yesterday, pitching Games One and Two of a big league series in which “Games” and “One” and “Two” merit capitalization.
That may be years from now, if ever, but it’s not hyperbolic to suggest that the Rangers have never had a more exciting pair of pitching prospects than they do right now, in Frisco, adding to their dossier every single stinkin’ time they take the mound.