Tanner Scheppers: 'I'll wear this loss tonight'
NEW YORK -- With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and the count 1-2, Texas Rangers right-hander Tanner Scheppers threw New York Yankees right fielder Ichiro Suzuki a 97 mph fastball.
Scheppers would like to have that pitch back.
Suzuki drilled a walk-off home run off Scheppers into the seats in right field, giving the Yankees a 4-3 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
“I think it was just the wrong pitch at the time,” a dejected Scheppers said. “He’s a great hitter. I probably showed him too many fastballs in that at-bat. I probably should’ve gone with something different.
“I’ll wear this loss tonight.”
Scheppers (5-1) threw Suzuki four fastballs. He got ahead 0-2 but couldn’t finish Suzuki off. The 26-year-old has now allowed just five runs in 39⅔ innings this season for a 1.13 ERA.
“It was supposed to be a fastball in, and it just leaked back over, and that was it,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said.
Manager Ron Washington explained that he elected to keep Scheppers in instead of turning to left-hander Robbie Ross because Suzuki had much better splits against southpaws (.354 in 79 at-bats) than righties (.226 in 164 at-bats).
Had Scheppers gotten Suzuki, Ross would’ve been brought in to face Yankees superstar Robinson Cano.
“I felt good with Scheppers out there with Ichiro, but give Ichiro credit, he caught it,” Washington said. “I don’t think he ever went through a season where he didn’t hit a bomb. He just happened to hit one that won a game.”
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