Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Base Hits: Nick Tepesch is good for Friday
By Calvin Watkins
NEW YORK -- With his bullpen taxed, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington was left with no choice but to use Friday's starter, Nick Tepesch, in the 14th inning of Tuesday night's loss to the New York Yankees.
Washington had used everyone in the bullpen, and Tepesch was going to pitch for as long as the game took.
Nick Martinez allowed three hits but was pulled after 5 1/3 innings and 67 pitches.
He threw just 12 pitches in taking the 2-1 loss in the 14th, and Washington said Tepesch should be fine for Friday's start against Oakland.
"Yeah, I should be all right," said Tepesch, now 3-6 with a 4.87 ERA on the season. "I've never done that before I did it in college, maybe a midweek game or something like that. I guess it's nothing I haven’t done."
When Tepesch pitches on Friday, it technically will be on two days of rest.
"He'll be OK. He threw [12 pitches], he'll be fine," Washington said. "No options."
Arencibia homers and fields his position: What was missed in the loss to the Yankees was first baseman J.P. Arencibia's go-ahead home run in the 13th inning and turning a nifty 3-6-4 double play in the bottom of the inning to preserve the 1-1 tie after the Rangers blew the lead.
Arencibia typically is not a first baseman, and the team has used eight different players at the position this season.
But it was Arencibia's turning of a double-play ball that ended the 13th inning.
"I'm just glad I made it," said Arencibia, who made his fourth start at first base on Tuesday night. "I'm taking baby steps. Catch the ball, make the throw."
Baserunning blunders: Making mental mistakes is something no manager likes, and there were two for the Rangers in the loss to the Yankees. In the third, Dan Robertson reached on a leadoff single and, after stealing second, he tried to reach third on a ball in the dirt. Elvis Andrus raised his arm to signal for Robertson to remain at second. Robertson gambled and was thrown out at third.
Robinson Chirinos miscued in the fifth. With two outs, Robertson hit a bouncer to Brian Roberts at second and Chirinos kept running on the play and was thrown out at home to end the inning.
Martinez pitches well: Right-handed starter Nick Martinez wasn’t overpowering; he just placed his pitches in the correct spots and challenged the Yankees' hitters when he needed to. His defense also bailed him out. Leonys Martin made a leaping, juggling catch against the wall in dead-center field off a ball hit by Brian McCann. Yankees manager Joe Girardi thought about challenging the play after seeing the ball pop out of Martin’s glove. Martin was able to establish his composure and catch the ball in the air after it came out.
Martinez was pitching in front of family and friends who came up from Florida and some college teammates. Martinez pitched at nearby Fordham University, roughly a 15-minute drive from Yankee Stadium.
He was placed on the DL July 2 with discomfort on his left side, but Martinez struggled before his stint away from the team. Martinez was 0-5 with an 8.10 ERA over his last seven starts to push his ERA from 2.14 to 5.10.
Washington took him out Tuesday after 5 1/3 innings and 67 pitches because he didn't like his mechanics.
"Ball was kinda leaking out a little bit," Martinez said. "It's just my first time out [since the injury]. I felt my fastball sailed a little bit and I got away with that, and I just [have] to expect that the first time out in three weeks. And I felt real comfortable out there."