May 212012

Happy Birthday Josh Hamilton

Monday Fastballs

Happy Birthday to the Rangers version of Superman…

Rangers take 2 of 3 in weekend series with Astros

  • Friday – Rangers win 4-1 even with Feliz giving up 5 hits and 3 walks over 4 2/3.  Beltre, Young and Cruz all drive in runs.
  • Saturday – Rangers fall 5-6 despite a strong effort to recover from 5 runs given up by the Dutch Oven.  David Murphy hit an inside-the-park home run.
  • Sunday – Rangers win 6-1 on an impressive performance from the Colbra, who carried a shutout into the 9th inning before giving up the Astros lone run (Jed Lowrie home run).  David Murphy hits an outside-the-park home run.

“Having things not go my way my last few times out, I wanted to bounce back and go deep in the game,” Lewis said. “Jumping out to a lead like that, my job was to throw strikes and force the issue. It made it a lot easier.”

Looking back on all three games, a series sweep would have been nice and would have been attainable.  The Astros are not good…but that said, the Rangers don’t seem to be clicking on all cylinders right now and winning the series can’t be taken for granted.

After a tremendous start, the Rangers have fallen into a bit of a slump, going just 5-5 over their last 10 games.  As Jasen pointed out on Twitter, the slumps for this team still seem to be hovering around .500, rather than falling much lower.  The key is for all pistons to start firing at the same time, and it’s a long season, so I’m perfectly content with them working through the rough patches in mid-May.

Yu (6-1, 2.60 ERA) vs. King Felix (3-3, 3.02 ERA) tonight!

Monday FastballsFor all the let-down that the Yu vs. C.J. match-up brought (due to weather), tonight’s match-up between Darvish and Felix Hernandez is very tasty.

“He just needs to get ahead of hitters,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “That ballpark will work in his favor, so it’s important to let the hitters put the ball in play. You’ve got to be a mighty mite to hit the ball out of that ballpark. Or Josh Hamilton. If he’s throwing strikes, making them hit the ball and not put them on the bags, I expect him to have a good outing.”

Offensively, the Mariners are really the only team that has made Yu look bad on the mound this season, and you could narrow that view down even more to say that it was only in the first two innings that he looked like anything short of an Ace.  Match-up wise, Felix Hernandez represents the cream of the crop in terms of American League starting pitching.  He’s not perfect by any means, and he rarely gets much run support from a rebuilding Mariners offense, but when he’s on…he’s what I believe to be one of the most dominant pitchers in major league baseball.

Historically, the Rangers have faired well against Felix who has posted a 10-16 record in 32 starts against Texas with an ERA of 4.03.  This is by far his worst record by opponent for any team he has faced more than once.  Looking at the splits by year, you would find that Felix has actually progressively gotten worse against the Rangers over the last few years, with 2011 being the worst at 0-4, with a 5.04 ERA in the 4 starts.

My prediction – the recent trend for Felix against the Rangers will continue and Darvish will maintain his dominant form, giving the Mariners a more accurate view of what he really is.

Rangers 7, Mariners 1

Quick Hits

  • We are less the 5 weeks away from the First Annual Baseball Do Field Trip.  We still have some spots available, but we are going to have to limit them to 50 in total due to ticket demand.  What are you waiting for?  Get signed up today!
  • In preparation for the Field Trip, we are going to have a game watching gathering very soon.  More details to come, but we are hoping to join forces with the Stalkers and just meet up at a bar to watch the game and have a good time.
  • We are also planning on launching the Baseball Do Forums very soon, so stay tuned for more on that.  Should be a good cyber-spot to celebrate, congratulate, speculate, bitch and moan about everything Rangers and more…
Baseball Do is going to be adding Forums to the site in the near future. Let us know if you plan to participate...
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