As Yoggi Berra once said ‘Good pitching always stops good hitting.’ That was the case yesterday for C.J. Wilson of the Texas Rangers in a tough loss luck loss against the Anaheim Angels where he threw an absolute gem and lost 1-0. The high powered Rangers offense could muster no support. Wilson threw a two-hit, complete-game effort, out-dueling Jered Weaver, but still getting the lose. He became the first Rangers pitcher to suffer a complete game loss with no earned runs in over 25 years. He also became became the first pitcher in 15 years to lose a complete game with no earned runs and two or fewer hits .
For some baseball fans there is nothing more exciting then a game that finishes out with a score of 2-1 or 1-0 where it leaves the fans on the edges of their seats until the final out and this game proved that fact. By taking two of three games over the Texas Rangers, the Anaheim Angels closed within three games of the Rangers for the AL West lead, but C.J. Wilson doesn’t sound all too worried. He’s proud of his performance, wishing he could have had a chance to bat to help his own cause. Wilson claims it is only July as the Angels weren’t going away anytime soon.
C.J. Wilson joined ESPN Radio Dallas on Ben & Skin to discuss his approach mentally after throwing a gem yesterday against the Angles and losing 1-0, yesterday’s outing against the Angles being the best game he’s pitched in his major league career, being real annoyed that he didn’t get the win in yesterday’s game against the Angels, the Anaheim Angels believing they saved their season by winning 2 of 3 games this week over the Texas Rangers and wishing he could have batted in yesterday’s 1-0 loss to help out his own cause.
How do you approach a loss mentally after you throw a gem like you did yesterday?
“No it’s kind of funny because someone asked me…one of the reports said ‘So is that the worst loss you have ever had in baseball?’ I was like ‘No when you get your butt handed to you in the first or second inning and you get knocked out of the game early that’s the worst because you didn’t even give your team a chance. You just basically screwed your team over.’ Whether you pitch well by throwing 7 or 8 innings or you not giving up a whole bunch of runs and you throw the whole game you feel good about that in the sense that I didn’t give up home-runs. I didn’t get slammed. I was just unfortunately hitting people on the feet and giving up a few ground balls here and there. That was it. I felt good. If anything it put the Angels on notice that Weaver is not the only All-Star in the division. That’s really the way I am going to take it. I am going to take like I am that much closer to throwing a no-hitter. Now I have the experience of throwing the two-hitter. I almost had a one-hitter, but a ground ball squeaked through in the 8th inning. It’s just something that validates all the work I have been doing and the scouting I have been doing. We just didn’t score and that sucks.”
An absolutely brilliant outing by you yesterday. Do you think that was the best outing you have had as a starter in the majors?
“I don’t know. I mean it’s really hard to gauge those types of things. It’s like I talked to Nolan Ryan one time and he’s like ‘Well C.J. I had some three-hitter games that were better than my no-hitter games. I had walked guys in my no-hitters.’ I was like okay. I had three total base runners, so that’s pretty good. I had a game against the Angels a couple of years ago where we won 1-0 or last year I guess because I haven’t been a starter that long and I gave up three hits in eight innings. It was a 1-0 win, so that was a better game because of the fact that I didn’t give up any runs and I held the team in a close game in a 1-0 game I held the team off. That was probably just as good of a game or whatever or like the Yankees game this year I had ten strikeouts and threw 130 pitches. That was pretty good too. It’s hard to gauge those types of things, but I felt like it was good. I just have to go out there and do it again. That’s all.”
You don’t leave yesterday’s game super mad that you didn’t get the win or do you?
“As a pitcher you know you can’t control what kind of runs are scored for you. Like last year Tommy Hunter he won so many games and he had a lead right away because he had this streak where Hamilton hit a home-run in every start he ever pitched in. He had a little bit of a cushion. It was easier for him to breath. This year in some of the games that I pitched it’s been real tight games and the games that I have lost we scored zero runs or one run while I was pitching, so you can’t always rely on even one of the best offenses in baseball to score you five runs and that’s why when I win games 6-4 or 5-4 or 9-3 I am not happy giving up 3 runs, 4 runs or whatever even if I get the win. I should have pitched better. I am going to have win games 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, whatever because of games like yesterday. I know that if I don’t give up that run it’s possible the Angels are even under more pressure when we are batting then they are. When we have to score 2 runs to win, which is the reality when you are losing 1-0, it’s a little more pressure especially when the guy you are facing has a freaking 1.80 ERA. That’s where we have to take advantage of our talents in the non-hitting areas like stealing, bunting, and stuff like that. We just didn’t do that yesterday. Elivs [Andrus] got thrown out on that one play. It was close, but if he sneaks in there it may change the whole complexion of the game. You know what I mean? That’s like a playoff game like playoff baseball and that might as well have been game one of the ALCS right thee.
With the Angels taking 2 of 3 games in this series do you think Anaheim believes they have saved their season and revived their hopes?
“No I think people are making too much of that. It’s july. It’s the Angels. They are not gonna…They’ve won five out of the last seven years. They are not just going to roll over and say ‘Oh man we are down by 5 or 6 games in July. We don’t have a chance. I mean they have really good pitching. They have some good hitters. They have some good young guys that aren’t just going to go up there and roll over. Mike Scioscia is going to do whatever he can to look sideways at the umpire and look creepy from the dugout. They are never going to give up. It doesn’t really matter if it September or August or whatever, but for sure they are not going to give up in July. I don’t why fans or even writers have taken that stance because that is not the way it is. If we were the Red Sox and they were the Yankees or vice versa and one team has a three game lead or a five game lead neither team is going to give up. They will sell their neighbors first born son to get that division and that’s the way we look at it too.”
We know how much you love to hit and you are competitive. Is yesterday a situation where you wish you could go up to bat and help out your own cause?
“Yeah. 100 percent. Absolutely because I feel like not only could I go up there and not strike out because I’m not trying to do too much, but I think sometimes a pitcher would overlook me in particular because they are like ‘Oh look at this guy with his baggy uniform and weird necklaces and stuff. This guy can’t be good swinging the bat.’ I would go up there and at least lay a bunt down. I’m like 8-for-8 with sacrifice bunts. I would for sure be able to advance someone to another base at the very least. I think that’s what you have to do in those types of situations.”