Texas Rangers: Joe Smith

Wash's Wisdom: Gut call on Brandon Snyder

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
12:00
PM CT
BALTIMORE -- Each week we take a look at a decision Rangers manager Ron Washington made and analyze why he made it, and discuss it. Here are a few of them, including his call to put Brandon Snyder in the lineup on Monday:

* Washington said he wasn't even thinking about the fact that Snyder would be playing against his old team Monday. Washington just felt that Snyder could hit left-hander Brian Matusz. So with Adrian Beltre not ready to play third base with his strained left hamstring, Washington opted to go with his gut and play Snyder at third and Michael Young at first. The result was Snyder's career-high six-RBI game in the Rangers' 14-3 win.

A few decisions in Cleveland over the weekend worth noting:

* Washington stuck with Colby Lewis on Friday night to pitch to Johnny Damon despite having left-handed reliever Robbie Ross warmed up and ready. Washington made the decision because Lewis had retired Damon on three previous at-bats. But Damon hit a triple off an 0-1 curveball to give the Indians some breathing room in the seventh inning.

Washington took the blame after the game.

"That one's on me," Washington said. "I was one batter too late."

* The next day, Washington decided to pinch hit Beltre in the 11th inning despite the fact that Beltre's hamstring wasn't healthy enough for him to start. The skipper knew Beltre had a good swing in him. Cleveland manager Manny Acta had reliever Joe Smith intentionally walk Mitch Moreland with two outs to have right-handed pitcher go up against Beltre (who was already on deck, so Acta knew that's who Smith would face).

Beltre, hitting for Alberto Gonzalez, blasted a three-run home run and the Rangers won the game, ending a three-game losing streak. Washington clearly picked the right time in the game to use Beltre.

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 5, Indians 2

May, 5, 2012
5/05/12
9:30
PM CT


The Texas Rangers ended their three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win at Cleveland in 11 innings. Adrian Beltre hit a pinch-hit 3-run home run off righty Joe Smith for the difference. Rangers pinch-hitters were 0-for-12 this season prior to that blast to center field.

Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland is from Newark, Ohio. Last year in his first start ever in his home state, Holland tossed a five-hit complete game shutout. He needed that good karma after his previous two starts which resulted in his two losses this season. Holland pitched well enough for a win, throwing 7.1 innings and allowing just five hits, but Mike Adams took the blown save after he allowed two inherited runners to score and tie the game at two. Holland did not factor into the decision. Alexi Ogando got his first win of the season, and Joe Nathan pitched the 11th for his seventh save.

Life on the road: With the win tonight, the Rangers remained tied with Baltimore for most road wins at 10. The Orioles won their 10th on Saturday, 8-2 at Boston. The Rangers visit the Orioles on Monday-Thursday. The O’s also boast an 18-9 overall record.

Top of the lineup: Ian Kinsler drove in the Rangers' first run in the second inning. That ended an 0-for-8 stretch for him at the plate. It also meant that he has reached safely in 16 of the last 18 games.

Playing the hits: Elvis Andrus singled in the first inning, giving him a hit in all 25 games he has played against the Indians. He is two games shy of tying Ivan Rodriguez for the longest Rangers hitting streak against one opponent at 27. Pudge hit in 27 straight versus Tampa Bay from June 2, 1998-June 23, 2000. Elvis also has reached base safely in 23 consecutive games this season.

A ... B ... C-ya: Beltre has not been in the starting lineup for the last four games including tonight. In total, he has not been in the starting lineup in seven games. In those games, the Rangers have a 2-5 record.

Cruzin’ for hits: Nelson Cruz began Saturday night’s game 2-for-17 on the road trip. He grounded out to shortstop in the first inning with the bases loaded. He later produced a lead-off single in the fourth. For the game, Cruz was 1-for-5.

At first: Michael Young started Saturday night’s game at first base. It’s his first start of the season at first base. This season, Young has made four starts at second base, five at third base and 16 as the designated hitter.

More and more: Mitch Moreland has his bat back on track. His RBI double in the fourth inning put the Rangers up 2-0, and it also meant that he has hit safely in seven straight starts and eight of nine games overall. Prior to this nine-game stretch, Moreland was hitting .139. Moreland was 3-for-4 on Saturday night, boosting his season batting average to .277. The Beltre was preceded by an intentional walk to Moreland.

Down Lowe: The Rangers pushed the pitch count to 104 on Indians starting pitcher Derek Lowe, who exited the game after six innings. Lowe forced the Rangers to keep the ball on the ground with 14 groundouts and just one in the air. He also induced two double plays. Lowe did not factor into the decision.

Indigestion: Rangers right-handed reliever Mike Adams entered the game in relief of Holland in the eighth inning. The runners on first and third were the first baserunners he inherited this season. The lead runner scored on a double by Asdrubel Cabrera. The second one came home on a passed ball.

Extra innings: The Rangers played one other extra-inning game this season. They needed 11 innings to beat Detroit 3-2 on April 22 in the Motor City.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.322 18 71 73
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 18
RBIA. Beltre 71
RA. Beltre 73
OPSA. Beltre .873
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.12
SOY. Darvish 182