In a tie game in the ninth inning, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington ran Nick Martinez out for a second inning of work on a day when it was pretty much all but decided that Martinez is now a starting pitcher.
Forget the latter part of that statement, it's not a huge deal he pitched in the first place. But in a tie game in the ninth inning, Washington has always gone to his closer in those situations. Joakim Soria has made two appearanes in the last week, partly because there haven't been many situations for him to pitch in. He's made nine appearances over the last 30 days. He's far from being overworked.
Yet, Soria wasn't in the game to start the ninth inning of a tie game, and he should've been.
Instead, Washington pressed his luck with the young Martinez, and the Astros got the best of him, completing a series victory over the Rangers for the first time since 2008. True, the Rangers might have very well lost that game anyway, but Washington didn't give his team the best chance to win a game on a day when they desperately needed something to go right.
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Fire Washington? No, that'd be silly. But the Rangers' skipper has to learn to use his bullpen more effectively or that idea might not seem so crazy down the road.