Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Rangers, Grimm start long stretch with thud
By Todd Wills
BOSTON -- Justin Grimm said he'll hit the delete button on his first career start at Fenway Park.
The Texas Rangers hope it doesn't carry over to Wednesday and beyond.
Grimm matched the shortest outing by a Rangers starting pitcher this season, lasting only 1⅔ innings and allowing eight runs on seven hits, five of which went for extra bases. The rookie right-hander's poor start had a snowball effect, as the Boston Red Sox hammered the Rangers 17-5 in the first of a three-game series featuring the two best teams in the American League.
Fellow rookie Nick Tepesch also went 1⅔ innings earlier this season, but that start was cut short because he was hit on the left wrist by a line drive. Grimm's Tuesday night was cut short because he was ineffective.
The 24-year-old Grimm took responsibility.
"I had no fastball command," Grimm said. "I was working from behind. This is my loss, not the team's loss."
The bigger concern is the residual effect this could have on the next few days. The Rangers started a stretch of 20 games in 20 days on Tuesday. Manager Ron Washington had to use four pitchers out of the bullpen, plus left-fielder David Murphy for the eighth inning.
Alexi Ogando gets the start Wednesday, and he'll be coming off the 15-day disabled list. So Washington used long reliever Ross Wolf for only one inning while Joseph Ortiz, who pitched three innings, will likely be optioned to the minor leagues to make room of Ogando.
"I have to make sure I have some pitching for tomorrow," Washington said.
Grimm had struggled with his release point in the sixth inning of his previous start against Arizona, but he said that was because he was being too aggressive. Against the Red Sox, he was getting his fastball up or missing with his changeup.
"I didn't feel in control tonight," Grimm said. "I was leaving my arm behind. It's easy to fix. I have to delete it from my memory bank."