Even Ron Washington is Making the Right Calls During Rangers' 9-1 Start
The Rangers are 9-1, their best start in franchise history. They've outscored their opponents a ridiculous 60-26. They've beaten the aces of Boston (Jon Lester), Seattle (Felix Hernandez) and now Detroit (Justin Verlander). They're hitting homers, getting immaculate starting pitching and winning despite slow starts by sluggers Adrian Beltre (who's hitting under .200) and Josh Hamilton (no homers in 38 at-bats).
And when they take the field today at Noon against the Detroit Tigers, they'll have No. 1 starter C.J. Wilson on the mound and -- yes, really -- confidence in their manager. Because, don't look now, even guts-over-book manager Ron Washington made a call yesterday that led them to a victory.
Up 2-0 in the bottom of the 9th, closer Neftali Feliz allowed a double to Detroit's Ryan Raburn. Two outs, one on and slugger Miguel Cabrera coming up. In a gutsy move, Washington called for the intentional walk.
You don't usually put the tying run on base and bring the winning run to the plate, especially if the hitter is four-time All-Star Victor Martinez. But ...
In this charmed start where everything has gone right, Martinez hit a routine grounder to second baseman Ian Kinsler to end the game. Rangers win. Wash is a genius.
And Alexi Ogando is unhittable?
Forced into the rotation only after Tommy Hunter's strained groin, Ogando's two starts have been, well, legendary. He's the only pitcher since 1920 to win his first two starts of the season while pitching at least six innings and not allowing an earned run.
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