ARLINGTON -- In the end, the Angels' bullpen was simply too taxed Sunday.
With Garrett Richards 99 pitches into his first career start on three days' rest, and the Angels trailing by only one run, Angels manager Mike Scioscia turned to Cam Bedrosian, Cesar Ramos and Mike Morin -- three relievers who spent most of the season either in the Minor Leagues or in low-leverage situations, or both.
The trio combined to give up six runs on four hits and three walks in a 10-batter, 37-minute seventh inning that sent the Angels to the 9-2 loss to the Rangers that eliminated them from postseason contention on the final day.
"We tried to get some guys to match up and some guys who were a little fresher, and guys who, really, had been throwing the ball well for us," Scioscia said. "We just couldn't get through the seventh inning."
The Angels' bullpen was without its closer, Huston Street, for the last eight days of the season because he strained his left groin. It was without its setup man, Joe Smith, from Sept. 19 to this past Wednesday because of a sprained left ankle. And it was relied on heavily in a month that saw the Angels play a lot of close games.
Heading into Sunday, 21 of the Angels' last 25 games had been decided by three runs or fewer.
Over the last eight games, their bullpen had accounted for 27 1/3 innings.
And by the season finale, it caught up to them.
Trevor Gott, who made 73 appearances between the Major and Minor Leagues in his rookie season, was only available for a batter or two. Same for Fernando Salas, who had appeared in three of the last four games. Lefty Jose Alvarez, who recorded three huge outs in Saturday's fifth inning, had appeared in five of the last six games and Scioscia didn't want to use him at all.
So he watched Bedrosian walk a batter and give up a bunt single. Then he watched Ramos issue back-to-back walks. Then he watched Morin surrender five runs -- on a single by Adrian Beltre, a sacrifice fly by Mitch Moreland, a single by Josh Hamilton and a two-run double by Elvis Andrus.
And just like that, the Angels' season was over.
"We had some guys that we could've used, maybe for a shorter term, but we just couldn't get the ball over the plate in the seventh and didn't make a couple plays on the field," Scioscia said. "It ended up being a big inning for them."