DETROIT -- Darren O'Day goes into Monday's game having not allowed a run in his last 17 1/3 innings over 19 appearances. That's the second longest active streak in the Majors -- J.J. Putz of the White Sox has a 24 2/3 innings scoreless streak -- and has lowered his ERA to 1.42, the fifth lowest in the league. Not bad for a pitcher who throws sidearm and is the only hurler in the Rangers' bullpen who can't hit at least 93 mph on the radar gun. O'Day topped out at 89 in his last appearance in Boston on Sunday.
"I think I make a lot of softball players proud," O'Day said before Monday's game with the Tigers. "At least that's what the fans in Boston told me. But we have quite a talented bullpen and everybody has a great arm down there. "I'm probably one of the five slowest guys in the league, but that's how it's always been. People may think it's a gimmick, but it's always worked for me. It's done out of necessity, I don't throw 94 like the other guys. You have to figure out some way around it." O'Day may not be overpowering, but opponents are hitting just .198 off him and his 0.89 WHIP is the second lowest among Rangers relievers to Darren Oliver's 0.85. O'Day also strikes out 6.15 batters per nine innings. He's primarily a ground-ball pitcher, but is not afraid of bringing high heat when opponents are looking for something around the knees. "That's what's made me a better pitcher: being able to throw up and down in the strike zone," O'Day said. "People don't expect a guy who throws from around the knees or the waist to come up in the zone. You've got to control the dimension of strike zone. If you throw 98, you can get some of the plate, but I have to work the fringes and keep them guessing."