The Rangers, believe it or not, did not fold on their off day Thursday after a 21-8 drubbing by Seattle on Wednesday. The problem was simply bad pitching, bad enough that their manager was pretty sure he would have fared as well as a Mariners hitter. "I've been retired since 1990, and I think I could have hit some of those pitches," Ron Washington said.
The blowout out allowed the Rangers to get a look at Brandon Snyder behind the plate. It was his first big-league game as a catcher after spending the early part of his career in the minors at the position. He said it was fun, and he hopes he showed the Rangers that he "could catch the ball." He did, but don't look for him to be starting back there. Ever. "We had an opportunity to get him in the game, and he looked like he was serviceable," Washington said. "But every I opportunity I get to go with Napoli and Torrealba, I will. The only time you'll see Brandon back there maybe is in games when we get an opportunity to blow someone or we have to go through another situation like we did the other day where we're getting blown out. But it's nice to know that we have him and he can sit back there and catch it."
Washington did not use a position player to pitch even though the topic was brought up. Mitch Moreland wanted to pitch, but Washington doesn't want to use the former college pitcher for fear that he would have a flashback to his days at Mississippi State and "try to throw a breaking ball and have his arm follow the ball up to the plate," Washington said. Alberto Gonzalez or Craig Gentry would have been the choice, but the Rangers got by by using six of the seven pitchers in their bullpen.
Team president Nolan Ryan is throwing out the first pitch tonight and receiving his Angels Hall of Fame ring. Ryan has thrown out the first pitch before the first game of the Rangers' past two road trips, also handling the ceremonial duties May 18 at Houston.
-- Jeff Wilson