Rangers manager Ron Washington revealed his ALCS rotation on Wednesday in a chat with the media. MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan has all of the details, quotes, and a roster change that involves speedy infielder Esteban German. (Hint: he’s been cut).
Because staff ace Cliff Lee was needed to go the distance in Tuesday’s ALDS Game 5 victory over the Rays, the left-hander will not pitch in the second round against the Yankees until Game 3. That will leave C.J. Wilson to start Game 1 and Colby Lewis to take on the Yanks in Game 2.
Tommy Hunter, 24, will probably start in Game 4, unless the Rangers are completely backed against a wall.
Wilson was converted from a setup role at the beginning of this season and posted astonishingly great results throughout 2010, never showing a sign of fatigue. He finished with a 15-8 record, a 3.35 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP over 33 regular-season starts and fired off 6 1/3 scoreless innings in his lone ALDS outing against Tampa Bay.
Lewis was signed out of a Japanese professional baseball league last winter and had a 3.72 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 196/65 K/BB ratio over 32 starts in his first year back in the states. He threw five scoreless innings in Game 3 of the ALDS on Saturday.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.
Per Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, a fan fell into the Yankees’ dugout at Safeco Field in the eighth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Mariners.
The Yankees were heading into the bottom half of the inning when catcher Brian McCann heard “a loud thud” and looked over to find a fan laying on the dugout floor. According to McCann, the fan “basically knocked himself out.”
Manager Joe Girardi said the incident “kind of freaked me out, actually.”
McCann added, “You don’t know his intentions. It looked like he was trying to run on the field, but he didn’t make it there. It could have been worse.”
That McCann and Girardi aren’t immediately trusting of an uninvited visitor to the dugout has merit. In 2002, two fans ran onto the field and attacked Tom Gamboa, then the Royals’ first base coach. One of the two was in possession of a knife. Typically, fans that trespass are drunk and want attention, but to echo McCann’s sentiment, you never know.