Pitch Selection Cost the Rangers Game 6 and Maybe the World Series
Neftali Feliz is a bright young arm, and we’ve all seen it. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else on the mound in that 9th inning. Unfortunately, his youth showed during that fateful at bat in the 9th with runners on first and 2nd.
Neftali Feliz throws hard. Upper 90′s hard. That’s not easy to hit. David Freese is up to bat trying to keep the Cardinals alive. Let’s break down the AB.
Pitch 1- Slider low and away…Ball
I don’t understand that. You’re now behind in the count.
Pitch 2- Slider…strike 1
A real Gutsy pitch to even the count at 1. If he misses there he’s now putting Freese in the catbird seat at 2-0
Pitch 3- Fastball…outer half…swinging strike
Freese looked like he was a hair late- not a surprise since it was 97.
With the count at 1-2, Feliz now can throw anything in his arsenal at Freese- out of the zone. What do I throw? I throw a slider or a split down in the zone. Change the eye level. If you see a 2-2 pitch- I go up with the fastball and it’s likely game over.
Feliz throws a 1-2 fastball down the middle. Doesn’t he understand that Freese is going to cheat on a fastball in that situation? Down in the count…late on the previous fastball…Of course that’s what he’s going to be sitting on. Neftali Feliz forgot that MLB hitters can hit fastballs. He let himself get too jacked up and said hey I’m going to “Rick Vaughn” this heater past you and there’s nothing you can do about it. #Fail. Freese hits a 2 run triple just by dropping the barrel on the ball. That’s on the catcher…and that’s on Neftali Feliz for not understanding the situation, and allowing his heart to get in the way of his head.
The next AB was the Lance Berkman at bat in the 10th against Scott Feldman. Instead of breaking it down pitch by pitch- all you need to know is that Feldman throws 93 mph, and Lance Berkman was clearly 100% sitting on the 2 strike fastball. Berkman was on it the pitch before, and the first pitch of the AB. I told my dad (whom I was watching the game with), if Feldman throws another fastball- this game is going to the 11th. Change up low and away ends the World Series.
Sure enough- Feldman let his emotions get in the way and tried to throw a 93 mph fastball past a great hitter. #fail
I don’t understand how the Rangers staff can make the same mistake TWICE in the same situation. A pitcher has to PITCH at ALL times. This isn’t high school where pitchers just over power hitters with fastballs. This is the big leagues. This is one of the best hitters of the last 15 years. Scott Feldman- you throw 93 mph. What are you thinking? All you had to do was throw a change up (which fades away from Berkman) and you sir are celebrating today in Texas. Instead? You allow us to see a game 7.
This is something I don’t anticipate from a team whose pitching coach is Mike Maddux. Mike Maddux is arguably the best pitching coach in baseball, but again- I truly don’t understand the plan of attack by Feliz or by Feldman.
We’ll see if adjustments are made for tonight.