ARLINGTON, Texas -- Each Tuesday, we take a look back at an interesting decision made by manager Ron Washington. This week, it has to be the suicide squeeze Sunday in Detroit.
Washington called for the squeeze play, despite the fact that Gonzalez hadn't put down a squeeze bunt in the majors before. Washington figured that not only could the Rangers score, but they could get runners to second and third as well and have a chance at a big inning.
Gonzalez did two things that were important in that at-bat. First, he got the bunt down as Nelson Cruz sprinted to home plate on the squeeze. Second, he acted as if the ball never hit him, even though it clearly did. The play should have been dead and a strike put up on the board because the ball hit Gonzalez's knee. But the umpires didn't see it and Gonzalez did a nice job of not hesitating. Detroit didn't cover first base, either, so Gonzalez was safe. The Rangers didn't end up scoring again in the inning, but that one gutsy run was enough to win the game and take the series from the Tigers (three out of four).
"He's one of the guys in our lineup that should be able to bunt," Washington said. "When the executing has to be done and we're in the right part of the lineup, they're the guys that are supposed to be able to execute. I was just happy that we got it."