Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Game rewind: Andrus on bases, slow pace
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Some leftover goodies from Monday's 4-0 win over the Red Sox were part of the pregame talk with manager Ron Washington (and part of a discussion with Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia). Among the items:
* Elvis Andrus' baserunning blunder in the third inning. Andrus froze off the bag while Saltamacchia had the ball, waiting to see if he'd lob it back to the pitcher. Saltalamacchia instead fired the ball to first base and caught Andrus in a rundown. Instead of runners at first and third with one out and Josh Hamilton up, it forced Hamilton to bat with two outs and a runner at third and the Rangers didn't score.
"He thought he saw something and was trying to take advantage of it, but it wasn't a good decision right there with Hamilton at the plate, runners on first and third and one out," Washington said. "You've got to let Hamilton swing the bat there. It was a learning moment."
Saltamacchia said he saw Craig Gentry freeze at first earlier in the game, waiting to see if the catcher would lob a ball back to the mound to maybe give him time to break for second.
"Most guys when you catch the ball they run back because they don't want to get picked off," Saltalamacchia said. "He [Gentry] kind of stood there, so in the back of my mind I'm like, 'If they try it, I can pump fake and make them think I'm throwing to the pitcher and hopefully they go.' And Elvis did. He stood off the bag, I faked it and he took off."
* Washington blamed the heat on Erik Bedard's incredibly slow pace during Monday's game. The pace worked for Bedard who, outside of one high fastball to Mike Napoli, kept the Rangers off-balance on Monday. But it took forever between pitches. The rule on pace of play is that the pitcher has 12 seconds from when he has the ball and the batter is in the box to throw the next pitch. But the batter has to be in the box. Any time he steps out, that clock resets. So, as Rangers broadcaster Eric Nadel pointed out in the pregame meeting, the Rangers were actually helping Bedard keep his slow pace by stepping out often. Once men are on base, there is no rule.
"I think that was his way of dealing with the heat," Washington said. "I think he was pacing himself in that heat."
Saltalamacchia was catching Bedard for the first time and said the fact that the two of them weren't on the same page at times contributed to the slow pace.