Thursday, June 16, 2011
C.J. Wilson frustrated despite solid start
By Richard Durrett
NEW YORK -- C.J. Wilson had one of his better performances of the season, bulldozing through eight innings and throwing a career-high 129 pitches in allowing just two runs to a Yankees lineup that put 24 up the two previous games.
C.J. Wilson had one of his better outings of the season against the Yankees but wishes he could have one pitch to Jorge Posada back.
Yet the left-hander was frustrated by losing and by giving up the lead in the sixth. He allowed a double to center field to Jorge Posada, who was 3-for-36 off left-handed pitching before that at-bat. It was his first extra-base hit off a lefty all season.
"I threw that ball right down the middle," Wilson said. "That's pretty much what I have to do for him to hit a double to that part of the park. If I throw it in and he hits it down the line, that's different. But to hit it left-center, that's just a bad pitch. I struck him out in that one at-bat where he didn't swing. I threw him backdoor cutter, curve ball, backdoor cutter and he went back to the dugout and I was like, 'I guess he doesn't want to swing today.'
"The next at-bat, I threw a backdoor cutter and it cut too much and he was right on it. If I throw a good pitch, it's probably a popup. You make one mistake in a one-run game and it hurts. I feel like that was the turning point because I felt like I should have won that game today. I should have come out of the game with the lead and I didn't. That's my fault."
Wilson was able to go eight innings partially because he did a good job of convincing manager Ron Washington that he should stay in. When Washington goes to the mound, it's almost always to take a pitcher out. But in this case, he didn't signal anything before walking up to Wilson.
"I like to think that over the years, I have a certain level of respect from the manager in that regard," Wilson said. "Even though the pitch count, with the work I do, it's going to prepare me for that exact situation. He came out and he said, 'How you feeling?' I said, 'I got him.' Every answer I gave him was, 'I got him.' He said, 'You've thrown a lot of pitches,' I said, 'I'm a horse, right? I got him. Just go back to the dugout and I'll get this guy out.'"
And he did, striking out Posada to end the inning. Wilson admitted that pitching coach Mike Maddux gave him a sign like Washington might not take him out, so Wilson knew he had a shot to convince the manager.
Wilson certainly did his part to help the Rangers, he just didn't get any offensive support. The club had scoring chances in the fifth and seventh and couldn't capitalize. They left 10 on base and were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
"Losing in extra inning sucks," Wilson said. "There's really no way to sugarcoat that. You don't get a point like in hockey. You don't get any points for overtime losses."