Early in this season, it looked like Alexi Ogando would -- if the Rangers qualified for the postseason -- be a big part of Ron Washington's pitching plans. But Ogando faded down the stretch, and opens this Division Series in the Texas bullpen.
While this might not be how Washington drew things up, having Ogando in the bullpen might be a luxure if, oh I don't know, a starting pitcher like Derek Holland is forced from the game after only five innings, having already thrown 93 pitches?
You know, like what happened in Game 2 tonight?
Ogando took over from Holland in the sixth, and struck out pinch-hitter John Jaso, the first batter he faced, on three pitches. Throwing more of his trademark heat, Ogando retired Sean Rodriguez on a fly to center, but Casey Kotchman followed with a double into the right-field corner. That brought up Matt Joyce, who'd already walloped a two-run homer against Holland.
Joyce continued his hot streak with a hot grounder ticketed for left field and possibly and RBI single, but first baseman Mitch Moreland snared the ball with a dive, got to his knees and threw a strike to Ogando covering first base in plenty of time to nab Joyce.
Rangers 5, Rays 3