KANSAS CITY -- Manager Ron Washington said he wanted to refrain from using closer Joe Nathan on Friday night against the Royals. Nathan pitched an inning in both Wednesday and Thursday's games, and threw a total of 62 pitches.
"He needs some time down, so I'm going to give him tonight," Washington said. "I thought last night he was sharp until he got two outs. I'm not concerned about anything, we just have to get him fresh."
Nathan entered Thursday's game in the ninth inning with the Rangers holding a 15-8 lead. That's normally not a spot for the closer. But Washington had already used Robbie Ross, Roy Oswalt and Mike Adams.
That left Nathan, Alexi Ogando, Tanner Scheppers and Michael Kirkman in the bullpen. Ogando and Scheppers had both pitched on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Washington wanted to stay away from them. Washington was hoping Nathan could dispatch the Angels quickly without racking up a big pitch count. Instead he threw 29 pitches after throwing 33 the night before.
"He got two outs with five pitches," Washington said. "I'll take the responsibility for the other (24) pitches. Put that on me ... I wish he had shut it down."