MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Nick Tepesch’s location is better than his vocabulary, but in his vocabulary’s defense, his location is pretty good.
When asked if he was able to rest upon flying into Minneapolis on Wednesday night while his Texas Rangers teammates finished off the Los Angeles Angels before arriving early Thursday morning, he, in a roundabout way, called himself … large?
“I got pretty good rest, I’m not too much of a wiry guy,” Tepesch said. “It was a good night’s sleep.”
Thursday night likely wasn’t very restful for the Minnesota Twins, who faced him earlier in the evening, as Tepesch was efficient and effective in 6 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on five hits with one strikeout as the Rangers escaped with a 2-1 victory.
Tepesch didn’t walk a batter, and hasn’t since the second inning of his major league debut on April 9 against the Tampa Bay Rays -- a span of 19 1/3 innings and 78 batters faced.
“It’s my game plan to attack hitters, just go right after guys,” Tepesch said. “Walks are free passes and you don’t want to give those out.”
The 24-year-old is off to a brilliant start to his major league career, now sporting a 2.53 ERA and a 2-1 record with a 14:3 strikeout to walk ratio. On Thursday he retired the first 12 Twins hitters in order before Justin Morneau led off the fifth inning with a single. Tepesch gave up another hit in the sixth but erased the runner on a double-play. He was finally touched up in the seventh when Josh Willingham hit a home run that barely cleared the wall in the left field corner.
Tepesch was chased by back-to-back singles after recording the next out, but still wound up with just 90 pitches thrown -- 65 for strikes.
“That’s his style of pitching, he’s always been a strike thrower,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “If you can execute pitches you don’t have to be overpowering, and he can execute.”
His only mistake Thursday was the one slider to Willingham, who was looking for it. And of course the “ed” in “wired” that turned into a “y.” He probably won’t lose too much sleep over either.