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Washington explains pulling Darren O'Day

10/10/2010

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Manager Ron Washington, as you can imagine, was asked about the decision to pull Darren O'Day in the eighth inning of Saturday's Game 3.

O'Day had just struck out B.J. Upton and was set to face Jason Bartlett in a tie game when Ron Washington came to the mound to go with Neftali Feliz with two outs in the eighth. Feliz walked Bartlett and gave up the go-ahead RBI single to Jason Jaso.

Washington said he wanted to put some more velocity on Bartlett, the No. 9 hitter, and cited the fact that Bartlett has hit O'Day in the past (he is 3-for-5 in his career, though the hits weren't hard ones and date over several years). Washington felt Feliz was the best matchup for Bartlett and went more with the scouting report on Bartlett than how O'Day was pitching at the time.

"It didn't work," Washington said. "Since it didn't work, that opens me up. Bring it on."

To Washington's credit, he never tries to make excuses or back off from criticism.

Also, in talking about the bullpen, Washington said he planned to go with Alexi Ogando to face Upton and Bartlett no matter what, but was hoping Derek Holland would get through the left-handed hitters in the sixth so that Ogando would start fresh with Upton in the seventh.