Ingram riding hot streak with Riders

Frisco closer Jesse Ingram not only leads the Rangers organization with 23 saves, but he has yet to blow a save with the RoughRiders in 2007. Lone Star Dugout features the reliever, who has held opposing hitters to a .181 batting average this season.

Relief pitcher Jesse Ingram made a name for himself with High-A Bakersfield last season when he struck out 95 batters in just 59 1/3 innings.

He then earned a promotion to Double-A Frisco, where he pitched well – surrendering 20 hits in 19 innings while walking just five and striking out 22 – but still had a 5.21 ERA.

Ingram has had a similar season in 2007.

Though his earned run average currently sits at 4.66, he has given up only 31 hits in 48 1/3 innings, good enough for an opponent batting average of .181. The Cal Berkeley product has struck out 60 while issuing 23 walks.

Despite being seemingly unlucky in the ERA department for the second consecutive year, Ingram believes that is just the way baseball works.

"It's part of the game," said Ingram. "It is always good to have a sexy ERA and that is what people identify with the most. The biggest thing for me is that I keep getting put in those situations and I keep getting the job done every time. It's just the life of a relief pitcher and you can't take it too seriously. If you're throwing the ball well, then you're throwing the ball well."

Ingram, who is 23-for-23 in save opportunities this season, credits his aggressiveness on the mound for his success.

"I'm just trying to be aggressive with my fastball," he said. "On the nights that my fastball isn't there, hopefully my slider is there. I've developed a bit of a changeup that I've been using to lefties. It has progressed as the season has gone on."

While the changeup is a pitch Ingram has worked with his entire career, he is just beginning to find a comfort zone with it.

"I've tinkered with the changeup for as long as I've pitched," said the 25-year-old, "but nothing has really stuck. The changeup we've got going right now is one I can throw hard and be aggressive with. It just goes along with my style of pitching."

With just one game left in the month, Ingram is set to wrap up a magnificent July. He surrendered only two runs on four hits in 11 innings in the month, walking three and fanning 16. The righty also allowed hits in just two of his 11 appearances.

Ingram believes there is no magic to the recent success. Once again, he says that's just part of the game.

"You just go through those streaks when you're throwing the ball well," said Ingram. "It is something you don't really think about. You get the call, you get warm, go out there, and hopefully get the job done. You try to ride these out as long as possible because it's not always going to be that way."

Because Ingram is already 25-years-old and has logged 59 Double-A appearances, a late-season promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma would seem like a possibility. However, the closer is content with being in the title race with the RoughRiders.

"You can't worry about that," said Ingram of a possible promotion. "The team is doing real well right now and we're winning ballgames. It's a thing for our organization to win at each level. Ultimately it is never your decision. When you think you've got it figured out, it usually doesn't happen when you think it will. That's not the focus. Having a successful season in Double-A here with this team is the focus."


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