ARLINGTON -- Tanner Scheppers, having pitched in three of the Rangers' last four games, said he is fine physically going into the final weekend of the season. He went into Saturday's game ranked fifth in the American League with 73 appearances, and seventh for relievers with 73 2/3 innings.
But Scheppers has also been economical with his pitches, and that should help the stress on his arm. Scheppers, going into Saturday, was tied for 23rd in total number of pitches thrown, and his average of 14.2 pitches per inning is the third lowest among relievers in the AL.
"I think that's just the key, is to keep the pitches as low as possible," Scheppers said. "Just attack the hitters and try to get ground balls and get outs. The games are a lot of fun right now, so you kind of have a little bit more adrenaline going and you really don't feel a whole lot when you actually get out there.
"I think [manager Ron Washington] did a great job managing me this year. I got a good break around the All-Star time where he didn't use me for a good amount of time, and I get to learn from the best guys. They take care of their bodies and have taught me how to take care of it, and it prepares me to go every day."
Rangers relievers as a group have been used for 480 innings this season going into Saturday's game, the ninth lowest in the AL. That's an average of three innings per game. They are only slightly over that for the month of September.
"As far as heavy workload, you're in a spot now where adrenaline is going to take over," closer Joe Nathan said. "If you're tired, you won't feel it out there, that's for sure."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.