Catcher Mathis pitches scoreless 8th, fans 1
SEATTLE -- Rangers catcher Jeff Mathis made his fourth Major League pitching appearance by throwing a scoreless eighth inning in a 14-2 loss to the Mariners on Thursday night.
Mathis was the fifth reliever used by the Rangers after starter Taylor Hearn lasted just one-third of an inning. Hearn was followed by Brett Martin, Jeffrey Springs, Jeanmar Gomez and Jose Leclerc.
By using Mathis for the eighth, manager Chris Woodward was able to stay away from setup relievers Shawn Kelly, Chris Martin and Jesse Chavez. Leclerc needed the work after having not pitched since Sunday against the Astros.
“I didn’t want to use anybody else,” Woodward said. “He has done it before. I talked to him about it and made sure he knows how to navigate through that inning without getting hurt.”
Mathis struck out Dylan Moore and gave up a single to Dee Gordon. Then he retired the next two hitters, getting Mallex Smith on a popout and Domingo Santana on a groundout.
“Obviously you hate the situation,” Mathis said. “So you just try to make the most of it and try to throw as many strikes as possible.”
Mathis appeared in one game for the D-backs last season and it was a meaningful appearance. The D-backs used him in the 16th inning of an extra-innings game against the Padres and he ended up taking the loss after allowing a home run to Wil Myers.
“That was a totally different dynamic,” Mathis said.
He also had two appearances for the Blue Jays in 2012 in situations that were similar to Thursday night.