For the Rangers, it’s another week of wonderful California weather and woeful West Coast start times. For the next four games it’s the less-than-formidable Oakland Athletics that stand in their path.
No matter how bad the Rangers have been playing lately, the A’s have been much worse. This Oakland squad is a team that the Rangers should have no problems dispatching. But what with the Rangers’ playing a skitterish brand of ball of late, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Oakland Athletics (23-31, 4th Place)
The A’s had a surprisingly strong start to the 2012 season. Since then, they’ve regressed back to their mean. Currently the once proud franchise has won just one game in their last 10.
On the hill:
RH Scott Feldman (0-3, 4.50 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, K/9: 4.1, BB/9: 4.5)
RH Jarrod Parker (1-2, 2.88 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, K/9: 6.4, BB/9: 4.6)
This will be “Scooter’s” third spot-start as the number five man in place of the injured Neftali Feliz. In terms of success, he’s been right down the middle. He has yet to win a game and hasn’t pitched more than 4 2/3 innings yet.
However, aside from being roughed up in Seattle late last month, he’s pitched well enough to keep his team in the game.
Gives Scooter Fits:
Kurt Suzuki (.300, 4 RBI)
Can’t hit his shi*:
Cliff Pennington and Adam Rosales are a combined 2-for-16 (.125) with 4 Ks against Scooter.
Key to success: Scott Feldman relies on two things for success: fastball command, and keeping his sinker down in the zone. When he’s on, he is a groundball machine that works quickly. If he doesn’t have the feel for his sinker it’ll be a quick outing—even against Oakland’s lethargic offense.
Jarrod Parker was one of the key trade pieces in the Trevor Cahill trade last off-season. Parker was the Diamondbacks’ top pick in the 2007 MLB Draft (1st RD, 9th Overall).
Like Feldman, Parker can have issues in command and generally walks far too many batters. However, he is extremely difficult to hit home runs off of so he tends to minimize the damage of his free passes.
Parker was roughed up for 6 earned runs against an anemic San Francisco Giants offense that was without their top hitter, Pablo Sandoval.
Hitters that have found their niche and batter’s he’s made his bitch
In his young career, Parker has never faced a current member of the Texas Rangers.
Keys to Victory:
It’s a small sample size, but if the A’s can hit enough to give Parker a lead he might be able to capitalize against a Rangers offense that has been sputtering of late.
Parker has never faced an offense as potent as the Texas Rangers. He struggled against a Kung Fu Panda-less Giants offense last month and if he brings that same game tonight, he will get crushed.
Rangers win 5-2.