Sunday, August 12, 2012
Mike Adams rescues bullpen in the ninth
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The ninth inning of the Rangers' 2-1 win over the Tigers on Saturday was full of strategic decisions and big moments. But before pinch hitter Mike Olt could send the Texas fans home happy, Mike Adams had to get the club out of a major jam in the top of the inning.
Adams thought he was coming in to face Delmon Young as soon as Robbie Ross walked Prince Fielder (after getting ahead 0-2 in the at-bat). But manager Ron Washington stuck with Ross -- well, at least for one pitch.
"I wanted Robbie to get Fielder and it didn't happen," Washington said. "I was a little hesitant to take him out because he hasn't really been Robbie Ross and I wanted to give him a chance to get some confidence going. But then when he threw the first-pitch ball, I went to Mike Adams."
Adams came in with a 1-0 count to Young and runners at first and second. Young singled to right field on a 2-2 count, and respect for Nelson Cruz's arm kept the Tigers from waving the go-ahead run (Miguel Cabrera) home. So with the bases loaded and one out, Adams jammed pinch hitter Brennan Boesch, getting him to hit a ground ball to first.
"For a second, I was a little worried that he didn't hit it hard enough to make a play at home," Adams said. "As I was going to first I was upset he didn't hit it hard enough."
But Mitch Moreland charged the ball and made a quick throw to home plate to get the force out on Cabrera and keep the score at 1-1.
"If it was hit hard, I was going to second," Moreland said. "It was slow so I charged and came home with it with Cabrera running. I might not have been able to do that with a faster runner. I just took my time and made a good throw."
Adams then had to deal with Jhonny Peralta with two outs and the bases loaded. He got him to fly out.
"I put Mike Adams in a very, very tough situation," Washington said. "He rose to the occasion and he showed what type of fight we have as a group. And I'm a part of that group. It's not just them out there. I'm fighting too. He picked me up. He did one heck of a job."
Other decisions that inning:
* Washington did not want to pinch run Craig Gentry for Cruz at second base in the ninth because he felt Gentry was the best bunter he had off the bench against the left-handed reliever Phil Coke. Gentry, though, didn't get the bunt down and couldn't move the runners up.
* The skipper has gone with his gut at times on letting left-handed batters hit against left-handed pitchers (he played David Murphy in Boston in that unconventional way and it worked). But with the game on the line (and lefty Moreland due up), he felt Olt gave the club the best chance to win the game against a left-handed pitcher. That certainly worked out.