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05/13/08 8:35 PM ET
Wilson keeps outing in perspective
Texas closer wants better results in non-save situations
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- C.J. Wilson had a simple explanation for what happened on Monday night, when he gave up a game-tying, three-run home run to Mariners catcher Kenji Johjima in the top of the ninth inning. He blamed it on Chuck Morgan, the Rangers' public address announcer who also runs the video board. "When I came into the game, they showed a clip of me striking somebody out on an 0-2 high fastball," Wilson said. "They gave away my whole game plan. They should show me getting ground balls on changeups." Wilson was joking, of course. He wasn't happy the Mariners scored four runs off him in the top of the ninth and sent Monday's game into extra innings. But the Rangers won, 13-12, in the bottom of the 10th, so Wilson wasn't flogging himself, either. That's not his style or reaction to any situation. "The hard thing, I guess, is balancing between demanding a lot out of yourself and at the same time taking a realistic approach," Wilson said. "We won the game and everybody was happy. It wasn't a save situation, so I didn't blow a save. Technically, it's not that bad. It could have been worse. It could have been a 2-1 game and we could have been in the middle of a losing streak." The reality was Wilson had Johjima down 0-2 and threw a high fastball that was above the strike zone. Johjima managed to tomahawk it into the wind and just over the left-field fence for his first home run of the year. The four runs ballooned Wilson's ERA to 5.40. He has a 2.25 ERA in his nine save opportunities and has been successful on eight of them. But he has allowed eight runs in 8 2/3 innings in his non-save situations. Wilson said it's different pitching in a non-save situation, but he added that it's up to him to learn to make the adjustment. "If I knew the answers, I'd probably be doing it," Wilson said. "Making adjustments isn't the difficult part at this level of play. Everybody in here can make adjustments; otherwise they'd only last a week. It's not knowing what adjustments you need to make, because you can change anything. "I could throw sidearm if I wanted to. I could throw all forkballs. I could throw all knuckleballs. There's a billion things you can do. What actually matters is figuring out what adjustments to make. That's what takes the fine-tooth comb to go over, and that's why we have pitching coaches, video and stuff like that."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.