That Robinson Chirinos came up a bit lame going from first to third Friday on Shin Soo-Choo’s base hit did not set off any fire alarms.
It’s September. Everybody is a bit tattered and worn at Game 141.
Still, the catcher was out of the lineup Saturday. He was available to pinch-hit, through manager Jeff Banister said he would rather “maneuver around” using him at all.
Some of that had as much to do with a day game following a night game as a left hamstring showing signs of fickleness.
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In his stead, Brett Nicholas was behind the plate for Andrew Cashner.
“He’s all right. He’s a little sore,” manager Jeff Banister said. “It’s September, these guys are banged up.”
Not of little significance to the team is Chirinos’ recent good fortune. He has reached base safely in 23 consecutive games, the club’s longest streak this season.
Banister used the term “selective aggressiveness” to describe Chirinos’ approach: Showing both patience at the plate, waiting for the right pitch, and being aggressive.
“I’m trying to get a good pitch to hit,” Chirinos said. “I’m trying definitely to get a better look at pitches … I’m more disciplined not only through the streak, but it’s been like that the whole year.”
Mike Napoli also sat on Saturday, while Nomar Mazara was out of the field as designated hitter.
Gomez suffers injury
An MRI on Carlos Gomez’s injured right leg revealed a high-to-mid ankle sprain.
The veteran Rangers center fielder was on crutches and in a walking boot after Saturday’s game.
His and the team’s hope is that this is, in his words, “a couple-of-days thing.”
“We know what we have and let’s deal with it,” Gomez said. “The more important thing is to try to get back as quick as possible. We’ll see how I feel in a few days. If it’s just pain, I know how to take pain.”
Gomez said he heard something pop as he took a cut at a Luis Severino pitch in his first at-bat. Gomez was only was able to limp only halfway to first on a groundout to second before falling to the ground.
Officially, there is no timetable for his return.
Kela, Bush updates
Pitchers Matt Bush (knee) and/or Keone Kela (shoulder) could be activated on Sunday, though Banister said it was unlikely.
The two were being evaluated after going through fielding drills Saturday.
Both threw bullpens on Friday. Kela is thought to be slightly ahead of Bush in the healing process.
“Wouldn’t rule out” them being activated, Banister said, “but I’d think unlikely.”
Staying put in Miami
Miami native Nick Martinez said his family is planning to hunker down in Miami and face whatever Hurricane Irma brings.
One track of the storm forecast Miami taking a direct hit, though the storm made a westward turn.
Irma isn’t the family’s first bull ride. They rode out Andrew in 1992, to date Florida’s most destructive hurricane.
“It’s on my mind,” Martinez said, “but my dad doesn’t seem worried. He’s been through a few hurricanes.”
Griffin goes Sunday
Right-hander A.J. Griffin will make his 15th start of the season, and seventh since a stint on the DL, in Sunday’s finale with the Yankees.
He’ll be working on seven days’ rest.
Whatever, dude, said the seeming insouciant guy from Southern Cal. He said he tried to stay as much in a routine as if working every fifth day.
“It is what it is. You just go out there and try to help the team win,” Griffin said. “I’m just going to be as ready as I can.”
Griffin is 0-2 with a 5.14 ERA in his last three starts. He will work opposite of lefty Jordan Montgomery. Griffin has been good against New York, going 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA, though he hasn’t faced them since June 2016.
“They have a pretty different team than the last time,” Griffin said. “I just go out there and try to get everyone out like I always do.”
Lufkin’s Little Leaguers go big league
Lufkin’s Little League World Series runners-up were the guests of Andrew Cashner for Saturday’s game.
They walked through the Rangers clubhouse wide-eyed while getting a little flavor of big-league life. They took pictures with players — Rougned Odor being the favorite — and a few played a little table tennis.
Cashner, who was raised north of Houston and still resides there in the off-season, hosted the families for lunch at one of the stadium’s restaurant clubs.
“It’s fun to see the excitement and the freshness of Little League players,” Banister said. “We had them on every TV watching the whole way through. We got to see them, watch them play.”
During the fifth inning, the Little Leaguers were escorted atop the Rangers dugout for their moment of public acclaim. The stadium crowd gave warm applause as the players waved back.