Ron Washington to Neftali Feliz: show me some fire

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At least he didn’t question his cojones.

Rangers manager Ron Washington wants a more intense Neftali Feliz on the mound the next time his team has a save situation, saying he wants to see some “fire” from the 23-year-old closer.

“I’d like to see more,” Washington told the Dallas Morning News. “When he comes in the game, I want to feel like it’s do or die. I try to tell him all the time how important those three outs are. I just don’t see that sense of urgency.”

Feliz seemed to get just how important they were last year, when he was 40-for-43 saving games. This year, Feliz is 20-for-25 after blowing a one-run lead and taking a loss Tuesday.

Feliz, speaking through an interpreter, didn’t think competitive spirit was an issue:

“Last year I was more nervous,” he said. “Now, I feel more relaxed. I know what I’m doing out there.”

But then again, maybe that’s the problem. Maybe Feliz is just a little too comfortable on the mound. And while Washington doesn’t have a reputation for head games, perhaps this is his way of trying to motivate Feliz.

And if that doesn’t work, may I suggest a hot foot?

Joe Maddon: “I have a defensive foot fetish.”

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The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.

Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.

Well then.

The Nationals have scored 62 runs during four Joe Ross starts

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If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.

Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.

Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.

Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.