Blog Entry

Rangers bullpen is fine; Cruz, Napoli may not be

Posted on: October 28, 2011 3:48 am
  •  
 
ST. LOUIS -- Ron Washington said he'll have his full bullpen available for Game 7 of the World Series.

"I've got it all," the Rangers manager said after Thursday night's Game 6.

What about Derek Holland, the Game 4 winner who gave him two innings in Game 6?

"I've got it all," Washington repeated. "There's only one game left."

He has his bullpen, but will he have his catcher? Will he have his right fielder?

"We'll just wait and see," Washington said, about both catcher Mike Napoli and right fielder Nelson Cruz, who were hurt during Game 6.

Napoli had X-rays on his right ankle, which he hurt in the fourth inning Thursday (but stayed in the game). Cruz strained his right groin on his final at-bat, in the 11th inning, and left the game.

Both said they hope to play Friday.

"It's pretty sore," said Napoli, a possible World Series MVP if the Rangers win. "I'll try to do everything I can to play. We'll ice it, and keep it elevated."

Napoli was hurt when he went in awkwardly to second base on a Colby Lewis bunt. Napoli said he thought the Cardinals were throwing the ball to first base, which explains (sort of) why he didn't slide.

He played seven innings after getting hurt, was on base three more times and made the defensive play of the night when he picked Matt Holliday off third base in the sixth inning.

"He showed the type of warrior he is," Washington said. "If you hadn't seen him hurt the ankle, you wouldn't have even known it was hurt."

Washington used seven relievers Thursday, basically everyone he had available. But none of the relievers threw more than 23 pitches.

Washington explained his tougher decisions in Game 6.

He said he never planned to hit for Lewis in the fifth inning, and that he sent a pinch hitter out on deck as a decoy.

"I certainly wasn't ready to take Colby out," he said. "He was throwing the ball well."

He said he went to left-hander Darren Oliver in the 10th inning, rather than sticking with Feliz, because he felt good about the matchup.

"I thought the [Cardinal] lineup set up perfectly, with two lefties and the pitcher," he said.

And Washington said he didn't believe that the problem on David Freese's game-tying triple was that Cruz was playing too shallow in right field.

"Look at the replay, and you'll see he froze on the ball," Washington said. "If he gets back like he should, he catches it. When [Freese] hit it, I knew we had him. I thought it would be caught, for sure.

"It didn't work out that way."

Finally, in the top of the 11th, Washington said he originally planned to send Yorvit Torrealba up to hit for pitcher Scott Feldman, with two out and a runner on first. Right then, he was told that Cruz's groin injury would force him out of the game, and force the Rangers to put Esteban German in the outfield.

Rather than hit Torrealba and burn his final two position players, Washington sent German up to bat for Feldman instead. German grounded out, and minutes later, Freese won the game with his home run off Mark Lowe.


  •  
Comments

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 28, 2011 2:19 pm
 

Rangers bullpen is fine; Cruz, Napoli may not be

It's good that game 7 is tonite. Both these teams are on borrowed time.

Neither team's bullpen is FINE....  

Especially since both starting rotations are throwing Quality Starts about as often as Albert Pujols smiles, and everyone has had a week of batting practice against the bullpens now.

Holliday's wrist was hurt more than his pride on the 3b pickoff. Now Napoli and Cruz may join the list of Ranger's walking wounded, leaving them as a still speedy team, that can't seem to get a bunt down or make a few homers hold up.

Neither team looks like they intend on using a glove for more than an excuse.

It's been a series of mistakes, not miracles...

The only bona-fide miracles so far, appear to have favored the Cardinals.....by somehow managing to rain out Kyle Lose's start altogether, while banishing the pitcher of the only shutout (Holland) to the Rangers pen, and allowed Josh Hamilton's God of Iconsequential Homers to work His magic. 

It's no wonder both managers look like their prescription medications may need an increased dosage.



Since: Aug 14, 2011
Posted on: October 28, 2011 11:53 am
 

Rangers bullpen is fine; Cruz, Napoli may not be

I completely agree that they should have sent out Feliz for another inning especially with a two run lead. What are the odds that he blows his second two run lead in consecutive innings? There was absolutely no reason to worry about Game 7 when you have just three outs from winning it all. You win or lose with your best and Feliz was the best that the Rangers have in the bullpen. Even if Feliz pitches two innings he is still going to be available for tonight's game. It's all or nothing and like Washington said everyone is available. Washington made a blunder and it might cost him the title. Now the Rangers need to immediately regroup mentally or they have already lost Game 7 before even stepping out on the field.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: October 28, 2011 9:47 am
 

Rangers bullpen is fine; Cruz, Napoli may not be

You had the best chance to win the WS, my biggest complaint was not sending Feliz back out in the 10th.  Come on man, he is your closer, even if he blew the 9th.  Stopping saving him for game 7 when the odds are you will not be in another save situation.  And pitch to Pujols to end the game.  Stop trying not to lose rather than trying to win.

Listen. I'm a Tigers fan and when the Rangers beat my team, the first thing I said is I want the Rangers to win it all now.  For one thing, I hate the National League and always have..... and for another, if my team is going to lose in a 7 game series but they lose to the eventual champion, I can handle that a little more.....  

But I think some of you guys have it all wrong.  Don't get me wrong because I understand that as fans we always and only worry about today, we don't think about tomorrow very much.  But how can you send Feliz back out in the 10th?  For one, he didn't succeed in the 9th so why would he succeed in the 10th?  Most importantly though, if there is a game 7 YOU NEED FELIZ .........  

Sure, the odds there will be a save situation for Texas tonight might be low... maybe.  But what if there is?  If Feliz can't pitch, who do you put out there?   The Texas bullpen isn't lights out like it was against the Tigers, not even close.  Ogando looks awful... terrible in the world series and if Washington is smart he wouldn't hand him the ball tonight under any circumstances.   The Texas opponent, St Louis isn't the mash unit the Tigers was in the championship series either.  The Tigers had 2 good hitting starting outfielders in Ordonez and Boesch out, Delmon Young was playing left field limping and cringing when he hit a foul ball, Avila who was a good hitter all year long could hardly run out an out to first, and Martinez was playing hurt as well...

St Louis is healthy... and they can hit the ball better then people give them credit for.  Last night was the craziest but probably the best game I"ve seen in a long long time.... I couldn't believe what was happening.   Just when I thought Nolan Ryan and his family were going to explode in the stands and celebrate a Rangers World Series victory the Cards tied it up... TWICE...

Great series..... I think Texas can still win tonight.  But it's not gonna be the pen that does the job, they need their starter to produce something very few Texas starters have produced, a quality start and at least 7 innings of work.

If it comes down to Feliz again in the 9th, my money is on Feliz closing it out.... got this feeling.  I still remember how me made my Tigers look retarded at the plate.... the kid can throw that ball like no other..... 



Since: Jan 21, 2008
Posted on: October 28, 2011 8:52 am
 

Rangers bullpen is fine; Cruz, Napoli may not be

First of all I could get a hit off of Darren Oliver!? Matchup aside he is terrible!! No way I bring in Ollie to pitch to more than one hitter!? Wow. Wash is to blame there!? But Nellie should have had ball? Rangers had numerous chances and choked!! It was a overall team loss!! Rangers are done. I just don't see them coming back after devastating loss! I almost Puked when I saw Oliver on mound. I'm still sick from that game!! Best World Series game I've ever witnessed?! Cards are destined to win that is obvious!?



Since: Feb 20, 2008
Posted on: October 28, 2011 8:25 am
 

Rangers bullpen is fine; Cruz, Napoli may not be

I must agree. Lefty-lefty matchup aside, gotta go with your rock. And pitch to Pujols. Berkman is the hottest hitter in the Series...



Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: October 28, 2011 6:48 am
 

Rangers bullpen is fine; Cruz, Napoli may not be

You had the best chance to win the WS, my biggest complaint was not sending Feliz back out in the 10th.  Come on man, he is your closer, even if he blew the 9th.  Stopping saving him for game 7 when the odds are you will not be in another save situation.  And pitch to Pujols to end the game.  Stop trying not to lose rather than trying to win.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com