1976 season entering the 1977 campaign. If he could keep the recaptured fire would be the big question.
Unfortunately, the answer to that big question was a "no". Slipping from number two in the Texas rotation, Briles filled the number five starter/swingman role in 1977. He appeared in 28 games for Texas, starting just 15 of them.
Over the 108.1 innings Nellie pitched he logged a 4.24 ERA and a 1.329 WHIP. In spite of those numbers he ended up with a 6-4 record.
By now it was painfully clear that Nelson Briles wasn't able to maintain his success from 1976. That made him expendable. On September 19, 1977 Texas sold his contract to the Orioles. The man who once filled in for Bob Gibson in the heat of a pennant race was no longer a Ranger.