Rangers’ reliever Mike Adams came up big in the eighth inning of the Rangers’ 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night in Arlington, which is really nothing new. That’s what Adams is known for. What is new is the way he did it.
With the tying run on base, Adams got Evan Longoria--the Rays’ best hitter--to strike out after falling behind in the count at 2-1. He did so with a pair of slow curveballs, a pitch that we haven’t seen much out of Adams since he came over from San Diego last year. With Longoria heading back to the bench, Adams got out of the inning and turned the ball over to Joe Nathan, who nailed down the win.
Adams has been featuring the curve more and more in the past week or so, and though we haven’t seen it a lot to this point, there’s a good chance we’ll get very used to the big, looping curve as Adams gains confidence in the pitch he once threw regularly.
"Early in my career, that was my go-to-pitch," Adams said, per ESPN Dallas. "Once I got the cutter, I got away from it. I went away from it a little bit, but I’ve always thought I could throw it. It’s nice to throw it with some authority and I’ve got a real good feel for it. I can change speeds now and give them a different look. They are seeing I can throw it for strikes, so I can expand it and hopefully not have to throw it for strikes but have them react and swing at it."