ARLINGTON, Texas -- With the Texas Rangers trying to protect a one-run lead, Mike Adams came in for his usual eighth-inning assignment Tuesday night and showed just how confident he's become in his curve ball.
With one out and a runner on, the Rays' most dangerous hitter -- Evan Longoria -- came up and got ahead in the count 2-1. Instead of going with his cutter, Adams went with the curve. Credit Geovany Soto, who called for the pitch. But Adams didn't shake him off. Two 77 mph curve balls caused Longoria to take two swings and strike out. Adams got the final out of the inning and Joe Nathan finished off a 1-0 win.
"Early in my career, that was my go-to-pitch," Adams said about the curve. "Once I got the cutter, I got away from it. I went away from it a little bit, but I’ve always thought I could throw it. It’s nice to throw it with somme authority and I’ve got a real good feel for it. I can change speeds now and give htem a different look. They are seeing I can throw it for strikes, so I can expand it and hopfully not have to throw it for strikes but have them react and swing at it."
Adams admitted that it had been a while since he threw a curve in that kind of big moment with the game on the line.
"I probably haven't don't, throw the curve like that, in the past couple of years in situations like that," Adams said. "My confidence level is high with that pitch. He put it down and I threw it."