As I woke up from a restful nights sleep, the first thing to enter my brain was “Dang, they lost last night”. I’m going to do my best to give you an even, non knee-jerking reaction to what happened last night.
The Rangers were three outs away from win number five in six games this season. With a two run lead, Ron Washington calls for his closer Joe Nathan. Nathan pitched very well the night before to secure the win for the Rangers and other than one bad pitch that was responsible for the lone loss in the Chicago White Sox series, he has pitches pretty well. It was very clear early on when Nathan took the mound last night that he didn’t have “it”. He wasn’t locating his pitches and when he was missing it was up in the zone. After it was all said and done, the Rangers couldn’t rally back in the bottom half of the 9th and fell to 4-2 on the season.
This one was tough. It was tough because Colby Lewis deserved much better after a masterful 6 2/3 inning 6 SO no ER performance. It was tough because the Rangers are clearly a Championship contender and a Championship contender MUST have a reliable closer. It was tough because losses like that linger. With all that being said, it’s not time to jump ship. The Rangers will stick by Joe Nathan, Wash will most certainly stick by his veteran closer.
Joe Nathan didn’t seem too concerned after the game.
“The only thing that I could see is they hit a lot of sliders, not terrible sliders. I think they’re looking for that pitch and waiting for it,” Nathan said. “A lot of those pitches were sliders down that they served into right and found outfield turf. Credit to them putting good swings on.”
That’s what you want your closer to say after blowing a save.
His teammates were equally unfazed like Colby Lewis
“He’s 30-something saves away from 300 saves,” Lewis said. “It’s nothing he can’t bounce back from, nothing we can’t bounce back from.”
“He’ll be fine, We have all the confidence in the world in Joe. We look forward to getting another lead and getting him back out there.”
“I thought he was throwing the ball well,” Washington said. “Once again, maybe location just had something to do with it. I thought he was throwing the ball well. It was 93, 94 mph. It’s a big league club over there. I don’t know how many innings we had them shut down, but right there in the ninth inning they put some runs on the board.”
So step off the ledge for a second, it isn’t time to panic and move Joe Nathan out of the closer role but its ok to be a little nervous. If it makes you feel any better, the Rangers aren’t nervous.
- Elvis hit a home run! Elvis has said that he has been working on his upper body strength over the off-season and its starting to pay off.
- Dutch takes the mound this afternoon to right the wrong that happened last night.
- The Angels lost last night to the Rangers next series opponents the Minnesota Twins. Jared Weaver gave up 5 ERs. So at least that happened too.
- Check out this great article about the Rangers/Angels rivalry. Good stuff http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1142416-la-angelstexas-rangers-why-their-rivalry-is-better-than-bostonnew-york