Thursday, June 14, 2012
Mike Adams, Joe Nathan finish job
By David Collier
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mike Adams and Joe Nathan were about as good as you can get as they closed things out for the Texas Rangers in Wednesday's 1-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Adams relieved starter Matt Harrison in the eighth inning. The Diamondbacks had a runner on second with one out in a scoreless game.
"It definitely gets you going in a situation like that," said Adams, who pitched for San Diego before the Rangers traded for him last season. "This is the type of baseball I'm used to in the last five years. ... I've faced these guys plenty of times the past few years, and it kind of made me more comfortable. It got me going a little bit. Just being a little familiar with the batters I was facing -- I think that played in my favor tonight."
After Adams got Aaron Hill to fly out to center, it was up to Justin Upton, who had two hits on the night entering the at-bat. Adams struck out Upton on a nasty breaking ball.
The strikeout prompted a round of fist pumps from Adams, catcher Yorvit Torrealba and manager Ron Washington.
"That's a big situation right there," Adams said. "If he gets a base hit right there, it's a totally different ballgame."
Instead, it was the Rangers who took the momentum and scratched a run across in the bottom half of the eighth to set things up for Joe Nathan.
Nathan recorded two strikeouts and a fly out to pick up his 13th save of the season.
"The starting rotation has been outstanding, getting deep into ballgames," Nathan said. "We're just trying to finish what he started. ... We're just trying to feed off of them and make pitches."
Although they ended up scoring a run in the eighth, Nathan said the score doesn't effect his job on the mound.
"Just put a zero up," he said. "It doesn't change what I need to if it's a 0-0 game or a 1-0 game. Especially at home, I know I'm getting in the game. ... It's just a matter of coming in and putting up a zero no matter what the score is."
The back of the Rangers' bullpen has been as consistent as it gets, and Nathan, who hasn't allowed a run in his last 11 appearances, said he is as comfortable as he's been in a while.
"It just feels good," Nathan said. "When you have a few pitches working and you're making quality pitches with them, it makes it easier to pitch. I've been happy that I've been throwing strikes with all three pitches, four when I mix in a two-seamer.
"It makes it hard for them to sit on a pitch. And that's been the key for me, especially tonight. Those guys battled and fouled off some really tough sliders with two strikes. I really had to go to other pitches when I thought they were keying on it. So I was able to get them out with other pitches. I'm just really trying to concentrate and trying to stay focused and sharp right now."