Wilson says he may cut back on throwing program
Angels pitcher feels strong after extra rest and proper treatment
ANAHEIM -- Even as a starting pitcher, Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson said he likes to throw every day, even if it's just playing catch.
At 34, though, Wilson said, it might be time to switch to program with less throwing, like the one he was forced into this week by elbow stiffness.
Pitching with two extra days' rest against the Rangers, Wilson battled through 5 2/3 innings Saturday night in a 4-1 victory at Angel Stadium, the Angels' third win in a row, and got them back to .500 at 9-9.
"I felt good enough," said Wilson, who scattered seven hits and three walks on a cold night, and allowed just one run, on a fourth-inning wild pitch. "The medical staff has been working hard to get me ready. I was able to pitch to the weaknesses of their hitters and to my strengths. It was obviously a good decision to push me back."
He was originally scheduled to pitch Thursday against the A's, but right-hander Nick Tropeano was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake and started the Angels' winning streak with six shutout innings.
"I probably would've tried to pitch Thursday [if it was just up to me]," Wilson said. "It worked out great this way. Tropeano pitched great Thursday."
Wilson threw 103 pitches, 58 for strikes, before reliever Vinnie Pestano (1-0) came on to get him out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth -- facing only one batter, Robinson Chirinos, and earning the victory when the Angels rallied for three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Video: [email protected]: Pestano induces groundout to strand three
Jose Alvarez, Mike Morin and Fernando Salas combined to pitch the seventh and eighth innings for the Angels, and Huston Street, pitching for the third night in a row, closed for his seventh save.
"His stuff looked really good," manager Mike Scioscia said of Wilson, "and, more important, C.J. felt great, felt normal. He pitched a really good ballgame."
The cold evening -- rain wiped out batting practice on the field -- didn't bother Wilson, who noted he "rocked the sleeves" and, "The wind was blowing, so the two-seamer was dipping."
He also said that he "didn't think it was so much the extra days, but the proper amount of treatment. We've got so much stuff we can use. ... We've got lasers. Any time you have lasers involved, you've got to use the lasers."
Wilson said his arm gradually felt better on the days he didn't throw, though, and that might be the key for him going forward.
"Push come to shove, he [Wilson] probably could've pitched Thursday," Scioscia said, but added the Angels chose to err on the side of caution, pitch Tropeano against Oakland and move Wilson to the Saturday spot that belonged to right-hander Matt Shoemaker, who's on the bereavement list.
"C.J. had no problem at all with the cold temperatures," Scioscia added.
The Angels backed their pitching staff with some excellent defense, including some tough running catches that reigning AL MVP and center fielder Mike Trout made look easy, and a pair of wicked, short-hop throws that first baseman Albert Pujols picked out of the dirt.
"That's why he's a Gold Glove first baseman and why we're a better team with him out there," Scioscia said. "And Mike, in center field showed great range."