RHP Mike Adams: 'I was nervous'
DETROIT -- Rangers right-handed reliever Mike Adams admitted that the eighth inning was the end of a very long day for him and that when he arrived on the mound, he felt more jitters than he has in a long time.
|Rangers skipper Ron Washington on Mike Adams' nerves in his first outing Tuesday against the Tigers, the AL West race, and more. |
Adams came into a 5-5 game for his Rangers debut and threw a 1-2 changeup higher than he intended to left-handed hitter Brennan Boesch, who crushed it to right field for the game-winning homer. It was an impressive at-bat for Boesch, who fell behind 0-2 quickly and then fouled off several pitches before belting the changeup.
"If I keep it down, maybe a little bit of a different outcome on that," Adams said. "He did what a good hitter does. I left a changeup up and he hit it out."
It was the first homer Adams has given up against a lefty since May 2010 and only the fourth hit in 51 at-bats he's allowed after getting ahead in the count 0-2. In other words: It was not a normal outing for him. But Tuesday wasn't a normal day, either. He spent Monday packing his bags and then caught a 7 a.m. flight to get to Detroit by this afternoon. He arrived at 2:45 p.m. and came straight to the ballpark.
Adams can take solace in the fact that he's not the first Rangers pitcher to have a difficult debut. Cliff Lee allowed six runs -- three of them homers -- to Baltimore in his first start for Texas just before the All-Star break last year. And we saw what he did against Tampa Bay and the Yankees in the playoffs. Darren O'Day came into a game in Toronto in 2009 in his debut wearing Kason Gabbard's jersey and shaking hands with his new infield teammates on the mound before serving up the game-winning single. It didn't impact his ability to become a bullpen stalwart that season and last year before dealing with a hip injury this year.
Even Adams himself noted that he gave up a home run against the Cardinals in his first game of the 2011 season and recovered nicely from that.
"At least this one is out of the way," Adams said.
Manager Ron Washington and veteran Michael Young were both quick to say they have confidence Adams will get the job done most of the time in that situation down the stretch.
"I'll give him the ball next time we need him like that," Washington said. "He'll be fine."
Adams, though, was clearly disappointed and tired as he stood at his locker. He said the wet conditions might have made the ball a little slicker than normal and he admitted that he didn't have a feel for any of his pitches, including the cutter. But he refused to use that as an excuse.
"It's been a long past two days," Adams said. "It's disappointing because the reason they got me over here was to hold leads and obviously I didn't do that tonight. I think it will be all right. It will be OK."
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