ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ron Washington expressed no regret about his decision to give the ball to closer Neftali Feliz with the score tied in the eighth inning.
It was a questionable decision because Dustin Nippert was the only reliever left in the bullpen. But that didn’t end up mattering, as Feliz didn’t pitch well enough to get the game into extra innings, allowing an inherited runner to score and giving up a home run to Carl Crawford.
Washington said he had no concern about the Rangers’ pitching situation if the game went into extra innings anyway. He said starters Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson were available if necessary to pitch in relief.
“I had people, you know,” Washington said after Saturday’s 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Darren O’Day struck out the only batter that he faced, but Washington didn’t want the right-handed sidearmer to pitch to Tampa Bay’s Jason Barlett. Washington cited Bartlett’s track record against O’Day (3-for-5) as the reason.
“Since I was going to use Nefit against [leadoff hitter John] Jaso, I just figured I would bring him in to get the one,” Washington said. “He would be in there in the ninth anyway.”