In two starts against the Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers starting pitcher C.J. Wilson has walked eight batters. In six other starts this season he's walked a combined ten batters. After walking five A's hitters last night in a 7-2 loss, Wilson let his frustration get the better of him:
"It's like obviously no one sets out there to go walk guys, and I haven't been doing that lately,'' Wilson said. "It's just only against their team that I do that. They take everything close. If it's not called a strike, then they walk. It's lawyer ball. That's how they roll.
"That's how they're going to beat me. That's how they have to beat me. I have to make a bunch of mistakes and walk a bunch of guys because they're not that good of a hitting team. The whole game was frustrating.''
I'm really not sure what to make of "lawyer ball." In a good bit of timing, I actually recently became a lawyer, graduating from law school last May and taking and passing the bar in July. As a newly minted lawyer, I'm not sure how I should take his description of the A's offensive style as "lawyer ball." Is it that they try and get every close call when it comes to balls and strikes rather than force the action? I'm honestly not quite sure what it all means.
If Wilson is struggling to hit his spots, it's certainly understandable that he would grow frustrated with the patient approach of the A's. After all, by taking pitch after pitch, they're just letting Wilson and other opposing pitchers beat themselves. That has to grow frustrating, particularly for a guy who hasn't been a starting pitcher for all that long. For a team that is "not that good of a hitting team" to beat him with a couple big hits, I suppose excuses are going to come out.
I'm curious to see how A's fans respond the next time C.J. Wilson makes a start at the Coliseum. The Rangers will be in town August 12-14 and September 20-22. We'll see if A's fans can get particularly creative. In the meantime, Athletics Nation has a FanPost up on the subject and I'd imagine the conversation could get a little salty.