Ranger reax: Wash takes the blame
May, 11, 2010
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON -- Manager Ron Washington took the blame for Neftali Feliz's late entrance into Tuesday's game in the ninth inning.
Josh Hamilton's two-run homer put the Rangers up 4-3 going into the top of the ninth inning. Washington said he planned to have lefty Darren Oliver, who had pitched a perfect eighth, pitch to left-handed hitter Eric Chavez and then bring Feliz on for the next hitter, right-handed batter Adam Rosales. But Feliz was not warmed up and got up as the inning started.
"I messed up by not letting Mike [Maddux] know to have Feliz ready," Washington said. "He wasn't ready. I take the blame for that."
Oliver ended up getting Chavez to hit a ground ball, but it was bobbled on a tough play by shortstop Elvis Andrus. Rosales then singled off Oliver. Feliz got warm by that point and entered the game. But he hit pinch hitter Jake Fox with a pitch and then gave up singles to Landon Powell, Rajai Davis and Cliff Pennington to surrender the lead. That started the chain of events that sent the game into extras.
Washington said he felt like Chavez, who had homered earlier in the game, had hit right-handed pitchers well and he wanted a lefty in to pitch to him.
"I thought he [Oliver] had the stuff to get him out," Washington said. "He got the ground ball, we just didn't make the play."
* Washington said he had taken the bunt sign off when Andrus was down 0-2 with runners at first and second in the fifth. But Andrus felt like he could get the job done and bunted anyway, which pleased Washington, who called it "very professional."
Andrus said he showed the bunt too early on the first two pitches.
"I knew I could do it," Andrus said. "I trusted myself and I did the job."
* Washington said he understood that third-base coach Dave Anderson was taking a chance with two outs to try to win the game in the 12th. Anderson sent Andres Blanco home from first on a single and he was thrown out easily. But Anderson was rolling the dice with two outs and forcing the A's to make a play.
"The second baseman just happened to make a great throw," Washington said. "If the throw's off just a little bit, no telling what can happen. I'm not going to second guess what David did. He felt like he might have had a shot at him and he took it."
The reality is that David Murphy, who was in the on-deck circle, probably would have been walked to get to Ryan Garko, who was 2-for-27 for the season coming in. In my opinion, it was worth a try to send him home. I like the aggression there. But that's just me.
* Murphy didn't blame his misplayed ball in right field in the seventh inning on the jet stream, though the wind was making things difficult in that part of the field. Murphy charged the ball and it went over him for a triple that allowed the A's to take a 3-2 lead.
"Initially when the ball was hit, I thought I was going to have to charge it pretty hard. I thought it was going to be a shoestring-type catch. It kind of took off a little bit and I think in combination with -- I knew the runner was going on the play, so I charged it really hard because I wanted to try to double him off. I kind of tried to get two outs before I got one."