Saturday, May 5, 2012
Ron Washington: 'I was a batter too late'
By Richard Durrett
Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington had left-handed pitcher Robbie Ross warming in the bullpen when Johnny Damon came up in the seventh.
Starter Colby Lewis had allowed a walk to Casey Kotchman (the No. 8 hitter) and a single to Jack Hannahan when Damon walked to the plate to hit with two on and one out. Rather than go with the lefty-lefty matchup, Washington stuck with Lewis. Damon, hit an 0-1 curve ball to the wall in center to score two runs and help the Indians to a 6-3 win.
"Colby had gotten him out all day," Washington told reporters after the game, including this Associated Press report on the game. "I was one batter late. I'll take the blame for that."
Interestingly, Damon has hit left-handed pitchers nearly as well as he's hit righties in his career (.282 vs. lefties, .287 vs. righties), and last year he batted .277 against lefties and .255 against righties. But Damon has never seen Ross, giving the advantage to the pitcher. Damon is 5-for-17 in his career off Lewis and he had seen him three previous times in Friday's game, giving him a better idea of what to expect.