Nomar Mazara isn’t much of a goals guy before he begins a season, but he’s on the verge of achieving the one he did set for himself way back in April.
Mazara entered Friday four RBI shy of 100, a plateau he believes is a marker of a productive season. His 96 RBI, in only his second season, led the Texas Rangers and ranked ninth in the American League.
“I’m going to be happy when I get there,” Mazara said. “I’m not there yet. Four is not easy, but I’m just going to go out there and try to help us win games. That’s the only way you can do it.”
Mazara understands that an RBI is more than an individual achievement. Runners have to be on base, and they have to have enough speed to motor home in a variety of ways. But there is also a skill to driving in a run.
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Sometimes, all a batter needs to do is hit a grounder up the middle or lift a fly ball deep into the outfield. Other times, he needs to drive the ball into the outfield. Mazara has been solid in all RBI situations this season.
“Not too many people can get there,” Mazara said. “You’ve got to know the situation sometimes. If you’re on third base with less than two outs, you’ve just got to put the ball in play. I think that’s the key for me this year. I’m not going to try to do too much with a runner at third.”
Texas Rangers right-hander Nick Martinez wishes he could have back the pitch Matt Olson hit Friday for a two-run homer, but was otherwise content with his outing despite a 4-1 loss to Oakland (video by Jeff Wilson).Jeff Wilson email@example.com