Oliver amused by historical oddity

Oliver amused by historical oddity

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers set a record on Friday by using 11 pitchers in the game. Darren Oliver was one of them. The Rangers broke the record set on Sept. 1, 1993 when they used 10 pitchers in a game against the Red Sox.

Oliver, then making his Major League debut, was one of the pitchers used in that game also, a 9-7 win. Oliver entered the game in the bottom of the 10th inning with two out and Billy Hatcher on first base. He was brought in by manager Kevin Kennedy to face Mike Greenwell in a lefty vs. lefty matchup.

Hatcher broke for second on the first pitch, and the ball sailed high and wide all the way to the backstop. Kennedy then had Oliver intentionally walk Greenwell before bringing in right-hander Mike Schooler.

"I think Kennedy saw that things weren't going to work out," Oliver said. "I probably would have hit Greenwell in the head. A few years later, I talked to Billy Hatcher about it. He said he saw my knees were shaking and no way was I paying any attention to him."

Oliver overcame that first game. Seventeen years later, he is still pitching and only needs one more appearance to assure him of being back in 2011. Oliver has 58 appearances and needs one more to automatically guarantee his $3.25 million contract for next season.

"Somehow, I think I'll pitch in 5-10 more games," said Oliver, who entered Saturday with a 2.54 ERA on the season. "At least I earned it."