Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Pregame notes: No regrets over bullpen use
By Calvin Watkins
NEW YORK -- In Tuesday's 14-inning loss, manager Ron Washington used all seven relief pitchers and was left to summon Friday’s scheduled starter, Nick Tepesch, in the last inning. Washington said Roman Mendez, who threw 34 pitches Tuesday, would be unavailable for Wednesday’s game and that lefty Ryan Feierabend (20 pitches Tuesday) might not be an option either.
Feierabend, a starter in the minors, hasn’t pitched full-time out of the bullpen since his days in Seattle. Feierabend said he might need an extra day before pitching again. If that’s the case, it leaves Washington just one left-hander in the bullpen: Neal Cotts.
Washington's use of the bullpen Tuesday night was the subject of some second-guessing.
Washington inserted Scott Baker in the 13th in relief of Feierabend instead of closer Joakim Soria. The thinking is should Washington have replaced Feierabend with Soria, and if the game -- which was tied at the time of the switch -- remained that way, he would have Baker available for at least two or maybe three innings.
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead on a J.P. Arencibia home run in the 13th. Soria blew the save and Washington used Tepesh in bottom of the inning 14th, and he ended up losing it.
“Last night I was trying to hold onto my closer,” Washington said. “I got to the position I wanted to get into to. He don’t always get an opportunity to come in with a two-run lead or a three-run lead. He saves one-run games too. I feel like I worked it to the best of my ability and got the guy in the game at the time I needed him in the game and it didn’t get done.”
Martin's catch: CF Leonys Martin said he loves playing in Yankee Stadium because of its expansive gaps -- 399 in left-center and 385 in right-center and 408 feet to dead center. Martin made a leaping catch of a Brian McCann drive against the wall in Tuesday’s game. Martin crashed into the wall, lost the ball momentary and then was able to snag it out of the air.
Washington thought Martin misjudged where he was along the warning track and probably didn’t need to make a leaping catch.
“I saw the ball and I didn’t know the wall was there,” Martin said. “I was running hard to get the ball and the wall is there, and you see what happened.”
In the 12th inning of Tuesday’s game, a popup by McCann fell with three fielders near it in shallow left center. Elvis Andrus backed off the play and said he thought he heard somebody yell, “I got it!”
“Confusion, man,” Martin said of the play. “We need better communication. We need to make those plays in those situations.”
Base Hits: Despite using his bullpen for an extended period on Tuesday, Washington said the club won’t bring up anyone from the minors. ... LF Jake Smolinski (bruised left foot) was scheduled for a full workout prior to Wednesday’s game and could play Thursday. ... Washington said Tepesch is still on target to start Friday. Tepesch threw 12 pitches in 1/3 of an inning while taking the loss Tuesday. ... The Rangers have allowed just four runs in the last 22 1/3 innings in the first two games of this series, lowering the team ERA to 4.85, it's lowest since July 9 (4.82).