The Rangers are coming off an 8-1 road trip against the terrible Twins, the rickety Red Sox, and the tenacious Tigers. The 2010 and 2011 American League champions have arguably been the best team in baseball thus far, and although its way too early to start looking at places, they currently have the best winning record of 13-3. While we all knew they would have one of the best offenses in baseball, the question surrounding them was a suspicious starting rotation for such a team with a hitter friendly ballpark. With the loss of CJ Wilson to the Angels, the Rangers haven’t missed him a bit. Their offense has indeed come through with baseball’s most 94 runs scored, aand the team’s pitching has given up the least runs at only 42. Perhaps it’s small sample size, but the Rangers have proven that they’re the same team they were last year.
Holland’s last and only good outing against the Yankees came in game 4 of the 2010 ALCS. Since then, Holland has pitched to a 9.00 ERA over 28.0 innings. The left handed pitcher has been more than solid for the Rangers thus far, giving them a 3.10 ERA, 8.9 K/9, and 2.7 BB/9 in starts against the White Sox, Mariners, and Red Sox. You can read more about how Holland pitches in my PITCHF/x series.
CC Sabathia is coming off his first win of the year against the Twins. Although he struggled in his first few innings, the big lefty was able to fix issues with the sinker that held him back in his other starts, finishing the game with 4.1 innings of no hit ball. In his career, Sabathia has struggled against the Rangers, posting a 4.44 ERA and 1.415 WHIP in 105.1 innings. In 42.1 inning in Rangers Ballpark he’s posted a 4.68 ERA behind a 1.583 WHIP and only a 6.6 K/9. His trouble against the Rangers were brought to the forefront in the 2010 ALCS, where he was hit hard in game 1, but finally out-dueled Wilson in game 5. Facing one of the best offenses in baseball in a homerun friendly ballpark, Sabathia needs to prove that his sinker problems are fixed immediately and force the Rangers into groundouts to keep them away from the longball.Michael Pineda. Although he was roughed up in his first inning of work, Darvish has since pitched 16.2 innings and given up only 3 runs, a 1.67 ERA, but also has shown issues with command problems. It’ll be an interesting, and most likely a tough game for Kuroda, and if he loses this one a day after we find out bad news on Pineda’s shoulder, prepare for the fire Brian Cashman brigade.
While the Yankees had a rain out to deal with yesterday, helping them push back Sabathia’s start, the Rangers were forced to play a double header on Saturday, and thus we have a Scott Feldman start. While Feldman has always dabbled between the rotation and the bullpen, he only started two games last year in August and September where he dominated the Ray’s lineup, giving up only 2 hits in 6.0 innings, but then faced the same lineup again and was hit for 4 hits, 4 runs, and 4 walks in 5.0 innings. He has 4 starts against the Yankees, where he’s posted a 4.76 ERA, in 22.2 innings, a 1.765 WHIP, and a 6.0 K/9.
Phil Hughes’ last start against the Twins was his first win of the season, and despite giving up 6 runs, he was actually decent. No thanks to a 4 unearned run first inning due to a typical Eduardo Nunez error, Hughes showed good life on his curveball and fastball, but certainly wasn’t the fastest pitcher we’d like to see. The time is running out for the righty if he wants to remain in the rotation. Although Freddy Garcia has been pitching even worse, Phil Hughes has more value in the bullpen than Garcia, and is always in play for a move when Andy Pettitte comes back. In his career, Phil Hughes has owned the Rangers, the team where he had his no hit bid back in 2007. The Rangers have no runs and a .064/.154/.128 tripleslash against the righty in 15.1 innings. Don’t forget that Hughes has been hurt by the Rangers before, when in game 2 of the 2010 ALCS he was shelled for 7 runs in 4.0 innings, and in game 6 he was hit for 4 runs in 4.2 innings. He has quite the history against this club, he’ll certainly have something to prove in this game.
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TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees