Buzz: Rangers had no issues with baseballs

September, 28, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Tanner Scheppers pitched at the toughest point of Friday's 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels, having to get out Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton in the inning after the Rangers had taken the lead.

He had no issues with the baseballs, five innings after former Ranger C.J. Wilson blamed slippery baseballs for control issues that led to three wild pitches and two hit batters.

"I can't tell you I noticed any difference," Scheppers said of the baseballs that were used Friday night.

Wilson said after the game that one in four of the baseballs were not rubbed down properly, a procedure that is done by a Rangers official -- an umpires' attendant -- before each game. The Rangers prepare 12 dozen baseballs per game with baseball rubbing mud. The baseball are inspected by the umpires.

They didn't meet to Wilson's approval.

"The balls were kind of squirting around,” Wilson said. “Are you going to call it a coincidence? It’s not a coincidence. Let’s be honest.”

Rangers manager Ron Washington said Saturday that home plate umpire Mike DiMuro notified him about Wilson's concerns.

"I’ve been in the game since 1970," Washington said. "I haven’t seen a game ball until it was in the game."

Rangers closer Joe Nathan also said Saturday he had no issues with the baseballs in the ninth inning and hasn't had any during his career.

“I don’t know why they thought they were an issue,” Nathan said. “[Wilson] spoke his opinion. That’s all. It’s not something I would’ve done, but at the same time everybody is entitled to their own way of going about things and how to handle stuff.”

There is a home remedy on the mound if the baseballs aren't rubbed down enough, reliever Jason Frasor said.

"You've got to do it yourself," Frasor said. "It takes less than 10 seconds."

Scheppers ready: Scheppers said he'll be ready to go if called upon for a third straight game Saturday. "I'll be ready by one," said Scheppers, noting that the start time is 11:05 a.m., so the late innings will roll around a couple hours later, giving him some extra time to wake up.

Scheppers was superb Friday night, working a perfect top of the eighth with strikeouts of Trout and Hamilton. Scheppers has allowed two runs in his last 16 games.

"Wash has done a good job of managing me this year," Scheppers said. "He gave me a good break around the All-Star break."

Short hops: Martin Perez threw his usual bullpen Saturday morning in anticipation of a potential Monday wild card play-in game against Cleveland or Tampa Bay. ... The Rangers have a stolen base in a club-record 10 games.



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Alex Rios
.333 1 10 8
HRP. Fielder 2
RBIA. Rios 10
RE. Andrus 11
OPSS. Choo .895
WM. Perez 3
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23