ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers left-handed starter C.J. Wilson spent Game 3 in the bullpen and he will be again for Game 4 just in case. Things got a littl precarious in Saturday's Game 3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays when manager Ron Washington turned to Dustin Nippert in the ninth after Neftali Feliz gave up the go-ahead run in the eighth and then a ninth-inning lead-off home run to Carl Crawford.
Nippert's first appearance of the ALDS left the Rangers' bullpen without another reliever. Had the the game gone into extra innings, it is possible that Wilson might have had to pitch. Under a similar situation in Game 4, Wilson said he will again be prepared to take on the role he used to have on this team out of the bullpen.
"It depends on what’s needed," Wilson said of his availability Sunday's Game 4, slated for a noon start. "But, with the number of lefties they have and my effectiveness against lefties, I would think I could throw an inning or two."
Wilson could pitch and not threaten his next start, which would now come in either Game 1 or Game 2 of a potential American League Championship Series.
"Theoretically, if we have to go the full distance, I’m not going to be starting. Cliff [Lee] will be starting Game 5," Wilson said. "My first start wouldn’t be until Friday of next week [the start of the ALCS].
Lee also spent Game 3 in the bullpen as an extreme emergency precaution. Game 4 would have to go deep, deep into extra innings for Washington to get to Lee.
However, potential issues arose in Game 3 because the Rangers opted to put 10 pitchers on the ALDS roster instead of 11. Frank Francisco's injury is one reason why.