Jose Bautista Laments Lack of Caution on Error
ARLINGTON – The shock and dismay on Jose Bautista’s face said all you needed to know.
One second, the Delino DeShields single was zipping across the grass, heading for Bautista’s glove. A split second later, it was behind him, trundling merrily toward the right-field wall, while DeShields rocketed around the basepaths, following teammates Bobby Wilson and Hanser Alberto home.
“You could tell by my reaction,” Bautista said, after his three-run error opened up a tight ball game, leading to a 4-1 win by the Texas Rangers over the Blue Jays.
“I knew that they were not going to send him (Wilson) home and I should have been a little bit more cautious approaching the ball.”
With one out and runners at second and third in the seventh inning of a game that Texas led 1-0, Bautista knew that third base coach Tony Beasley was going to hold Wilson at third rather than risk having the slow-footed catcher thrown out at the plate. But when Bautista whiffed, everybody was off to the races.
“I opened up the score for them with the error,” Bautista said. “I just attacked the ball a little too hard. The outfield grass is cut kind of funky here and you get a lot of ground balls that snake around. We noticed that in BP the first day.
“I felt like my mindset was right on everything I was doing. I knew who was running on second and I was sure they were going to stop him but I was too aggressive. I came in at a bit of an angle and I had to get around the ball and by the time I got to it, the ball snaked on me a little bit.
“But mistakes happen. Physical mistakes I can deal with. The mental ones are the ones that hurt. You can always make errors playing in the field and it is going to happen every now and then.”
The error was a faux pas, no doubt, but it might not have really mattered in that Liam Hendriks went on to allow six consecutive singles in the inning. That didn’t make Bautista feel any better.
“We’re playing great,” he said. “I don’t think this loss is going to affect us in any way. Again, you want to win every single game. But you’re going to make a mistake at some point. I didn’t want to make it but it happened and we lost. We’ve won 21 out of 26 and are playing great baseball. Even today we were in it almost until the last inning.”
The Rangers pitched carefully to Bautista all series, walking him six times in the final two games. While he’s more than happy to get on base for his red-hot teammate Edwin Encarnacion, he wants to swing the bat.
“I want guys to throw me strikes,” he said. “Obviously they’re pitching around me, or at least they did in this series. I’m feeling better at the plate, swinging the bat better, feeling like my old self. I’m more under control, allowing my eyes to be more calm, seeing the ball better, reading spins a little bit more. I’m not missing as many good pitches to hit as I was earlier in the year.
“At least I’m letting the guy behind me, Edwin, try to cash me in. That’s all I can do when they’re throwing that many balls, is walk.”