Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Texas Rangers [Print without images]

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Rangers' bullpen is poised until end

By Calvin Watkins

NEW YORK -- The bullpen was used up.

It went eight innings of relief, and Rangers manager Ron Washington had no choice but to use Friday’s starter, Nick Tepesch, in the 14th inning of Tuesday night’s nearly five-hour contest against the New York Yankees.

Washington wouldn’t have been in this situation if not for Joakim Soria’s blown save in the 13th, but as shortstop Elvis Andrus said of the 2-1, 14-inning loss to the Yankees, “Crazy game, pretty crazy, but I think both teams didn’t give up, and in the end they had more luck than us.”

Rangers
The Rangers' bullpen toughed it out for eight innings, but in the end, it was another heartbreaking loss for Texas.
Washington’s bullpen was bailing this team out all night.

It started when Washington took starter Nick Martinez out in the sixth inning after 67 pitches because his mechanics were going haywire.

Neftali Feliz came in and retired Derek Jeter and Jacoby Ellsbury to finish the sixth and maintain a scoreless contest.

Feliz pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball.

As this long night continued, Washington inserted Shawn Tolleson next, and he pitched an uneventful eighth.

The ninth came for Neal Cotts, and he gave up a one-out double to Jeter before intentionally walking Ellsbury to get to Carlos Beltran.

Why face a power-hitting switch-hitter like Beltran?

Right-handed hitters are hitting .245 against the left-handed-throwing Cotts.

Beltran, batting right-handed, hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.

And so it went, but there was more from the Rangers' bullpen.

In the 11th, with two men on and two outs, Washington asked Ryan Feierabend to get Ellsbury, and Feierabend did with a groundout.

The next inning saw more magic from the bullpen. This time, Feierabend caused the trouble and almost got out of it, but a Brian McCann popup dropped between Jim Adduci, Leonys Martin and Andrus.

Andrus backed off the play at the last minute, saying he heard someone say, "I got it," but Adduci stopped running as the ball fell down.

Ichiro Suzuki bunted the runners over, and after Brian Roberts was walked intentionally to load the bases, Scott Baker came in. Francisco Cervelli lined to Adrian Beltre for the second out, and then Chase Headley, who eventually won this game with a single in the 14th, ended the threat with a weak bouncer to second.

The Rangers took the lead in the 13th, and that’s when the magic of the bullpen ended. Soria couldn’t close the deal and blew just his second save of the season.

“You have to get up every single inning, since the eighth inning,” Soria said. “It’s not an excuse, it’s the reality of what happened, but you have to watch the whole game, and your body gets tired easy. They hit some good pitches and I got the loss.”

Headley got another shot, this time against Tepesch in the 14th, because Washington said Tepesch was the only one left, and Headley won it on his hit.

“I thought they did a great job, everyone we brought in did a great job,” Washington said. “Each time, they tried to start something, but [the bullpen] did everything they needed to do to stop it. I was very pleased. I thought everybody did a great job. We were the first one to put one on the board, but we just couldn’t close it down."