Friday, May 20, 2011
C.J. Wilson with a strong start
By Calvin Watkins
PHILADELPHIA -- Rangers ace C.J. Wilson made only two mistake pitches during his loss to the Phillies on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.
He threw a 3-1 changeup to Ben Francisco, who hit a two-run homer to left center field in the second inning and a first-pitch fastball to Raul Ibanez in the fourth.
The three runs were all the Phillies would need in their 3-2 victory in Game 1 of this three-game interleague series. It's too bad because Wilson was good.
He struck out 10 hitters in the first five innings and allowed four hits and walked two while throwing 110 pitches.
"Other than [the home runs] my game plan worked pretty well," said Wilson, who is now 4-3 with a 3.42 ERA. "I was in control, a lot of the at bats [I] forced some bad contact and some swing and misses and I think the scouting report I had was really, really good. I had a good game plan but these two pitches. You throw over 100 pitches and make two bad ones. Professional hitters."
Wilson has pitched into at least the sixth inning in nine of his last 10 starts. When he left after the seventh, his team trailed 3-1, marking the first time he hit the clubhouse trailing since May 12.
Ibanzez's homer was the first time Wilson allowed one to a left-handed batter in a regular-season game in almost three seasons. Cleveland's Shin-Soo Choo hit a home run off Wilson on June 3, 2008. Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees hit a home run against Wilson in Game 5 of the ALCS last year.
"He made two pitches I know he’d like to take back," manager Ron Washington said. "Changeup to Francisco got him right there after the walk to Ibanez and first pitch fastball Ibanez hit it to the biggest part of the park. He earned that one."