HOUSTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington had a Nino Brown-like conversation with starter Neftali Feliz on Friday night.
Feliz gave up just one run but labored the though the outing, throwing 101 pitches and walking five in 4 2/3 innings before getting pulled by Washington one out away from qualifying for the victory.
Feliz had trouble controlling his fastball, and his release point was way off. Washington chewed him out on the mound after walking pitcher Wandy Rodriguez with two outs in the fourth. Feliz retired the next hitter, Jordan Schafer, via strikeout.
When Feliz got to the dugout, Washington was waiting for him and used the interpreter to make sure his points were getting across. Washington said he told Feliz the team depends on him and to get his act together.
"I had a deep conversation with him with the translator to make sure what I was saying was being heard and being felt," Washington said. "I wanted him to hear how much the guys depend on him and sometimes things don't go right when you're out there on the field, but you got to find it in yourself to straighenten it out the best you can. Not that he wasn't trying, it's just he tried hard but it just couldn't get there, so the decision (to pull him) fell in my lap and I had to make it.
Washington said he wasn't trying to send a message to Feliz by pulling him just one out from a victory, saying it was more situational. But Washington got his message across.
"What I said then should resonate for days to come," Washington said.
Notes: Closer Joe Nathan most likely won't pitch Saturday night. He's gone the last four days and has never pitched in five consecutive games. Nathan said he feels good, but it might not be in the best interest for any pitcher to go five consecutive days.
Yu Darvish threw a bullpen session Saturday afternoon. He's said in the past that his bullpen sessions weren't very good, but he's certainly been able to pitch well.
"Normally it's not that good when I was in Japan," Darvish said through an interpreter. "Today I was OK. Anyway, it doesn't affect my starts."
We'll have more on this later, but expect Mike Adams to need another day of rest. He's battling a respiratory infection that has zapped his energy. The Rangers have gone to reliever Koji Uehara in the late innings. Uehara pitched the eighth inning of Friday night's victory and should do so again Saturday if necessary.
Uehara hasn't allowed a run in 10 1/3 innings and has lowered his ERA from 4.50 to 1.26.
"Hopefully, I'll be able to continue to produce," he said through an interpreter.