The rain that ruined Tuesday night— and made for a long Wednesday — didn’t have a major effect on the Texas Rangers’ game planning, but there were a few things that changed despite not having a game.
Perhaps not so subtle is that the Rangers will now need their No. 5 starter Sunday. Miguel Gonzalez was scheduled to throw Tuesday and Sunday against the New York Yankees, but won’t be available until Monday after pitching Game 1.
So, Nick Martinez or A.J. Griffin will likely start the finale against the Yankees.
“We have a few different candidates,” manager Jeff Banister said. “It just depends on how we utilize the bullpen the next couple days.”
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Banister was facing a juggling act with the bullpen even though the Rangers are off Thursday. While every reliever was available, Banister was weary of having a pitcher work both games unless he had a low pitch count in Game 1.
There was no certainty that Alex Claudio, Jake Diekman or Tony Barnette would be available for both games.
“That’s a hard decision to make,” Banister said. “We’re in a situation where we have to play well every game.”
Banister also toyed with the Game 1 lineup for Wednesday from what he set for Tuesday, even though the Atlanta Braves didn’t change their starting pitcher, left-hander Luiz Gohara.
Brett Nicholas was inserted as catcher, as Banister wanted Robinson Chirinos to catch Cole Hamels in Game 2. Chirinos is a right-handed hitter and Nicholas bats lefty, but that wasn’t much of a factor in Banister’s thinking as lefties hit Gohara well in the minors.
Joey Gallo was moved out of the cleanup spot, swapping with Carlos Gomez, as Banister tried to balance left- and right-handed hitters toward the bottom of the lineup.