06/13/10 12:53 AM ET
Ray picks up Feliz in wild ninth inning
Rangers closer loaded the bases with Brewers with one out
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
That left Feliz to face the bottom of the Brewers' order. Feliz, who has 16 saves but was pitching for only the second time in eight days, just couldn't get it done."He's been doing pretty well," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "But you've got to give our guys credit, too. We were down by three runs. Some patient at-bats at the bottom of the lineup ... so we put ourselves in position, we just didn't finish it off." Feliz got Jim Edmonds to ground out to start the inning, but Jonathan Lucroy singled and Alcides Escobar and pinch-hitter Joe Inglett drew walks to load the bases. Weeks then lined a single to right to score one run, and that's when Washington brought in Ray. He had Corey Hart, who leads the National League in home runs, waiting for him. "I was trying to get him to hit the ball on the ground," Ray said. "Just pound the zone low and get a ground ball. He was looking to swing the bat. Guys who hit like that aren't looking for a walk." Hart hit a high chopper to third baseman Michael Young, and the Rangers got a force at second. But the relay to first was too late. A run scored, and the Brewers still had runners at the corners. "I'll take an out for a run right there," Ray said. That brought up Fielder. Ray, with a base to play with, could have pitched around him and taken his chances with Braun, who was on deck. But Ray went after him with a combination of fastball and curve. "We weren't going to give him a cookie, but with Chris' stuff, we were attacking him aggressively," catcher Matt Treanor said. "Chris wanted to go after him." "We know he can hit the fastball, so that's why I mixed in some curves," Ray said. "I threw him a curve on 3-and-1 and 3-and-2. I felt I had slowed his bat up enough to throw him a fastball. He was right on it but popped it up." Fielder did. He popped it up to left field, and Josh Hamilton put it away to end the game.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.