Wilson follows game plan against weary hitters

Wilson follows game plan against weary hitters

Wilson follows game plan against weary hitters
ARLINGTON -- C.J. Wilson wasn't around for the end of the Rangers' 8-6 loss to the White Sox late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

While the rest of the Rangers waited out nearly three hours of a rain delay, Wilson drove home, knowing it was more important to the team for him to rest up for Wednesday's start than to sit in the clubhouse.

"I left when they put the tarp on the second time. I drove through some sort of cyclone on the Dallas North Tollway at approximately 11 o'clock last night," Wilson said. "It was the most exciting driving experience I've ever had in the streets. My truck was blasting the 'Tron' soundtrack going like 50 [mph], and going sideways. All my rally car training really paid off."

He also wasn't thrilled to have to pitch another day game.

"I hate day games way more than probably anybody, and I get stuck with them," Wilson said. "This is probably my sixth or seventh day game this year. I take a little bit of extra rage out there on the mound towards Bud Selig and the schedule makers."

Somewhere in the middle of all this turmoil, he found time to go 6 1/3 innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks, to earn a win in the Rangers' 2-1 victory against the White Sox.

Even though he was pitching during one of his hated day games, Wilson had a smart game plan. With both teams playing baseball very late into the night, he knew that throwing strikes would put the onus on bleary and tired hitters to swing the bat.

"We got his pitch count up, but he made some pitches," White Sox leadoff hitter Juan Pierre said. "He got the big outs when he needed them."

The key was Wilson's approach. Wilson started 15 of the 22 batters he faced with a strike. Of those 15, 12 eventually ended in outs.

"I'm just trying to maximize the effectiveness of the scouting report, really. If I just pitch to that and stick to that, I'm pretty good. But if I fall behind 2-0, everyone's a pretty good hitter 2-0."

When going up against a very sharp Gavin Floyd, all the Rangers could muster was two runs from a third-inning rally, but Wilson made it stand up.

"He was pretty good, until the seventh when he ran out of gas," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was keeping guys off stride, making his pitches and making them hit what he wanted them to."

Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.