The futility of the Texas Rangers against the Toronto Blue Jays was largely squelched by the feel-good salve of an honest to goodness ass-kicking, 14-3, last night.
It was Derek Holland (7.1 IP, 9 Ks) and Nelson Cruz (4-for-5 8 RBI, grand slam) that provided most of the damage with a home run by Josh Hamilton sprinkled in for good measure.
This afternoon, it will be Colby Lewis (4-3, 3.30 ERA) toeing the rubber for the Rangers against young right-hander Henderson Alvarez (3-3, 3.30 ERA) for the blue birds.
Lewis vs. the Jays
• Lewis is coming off of an excellent start against the Astros last weekend, as he worked 8 innings, scattering 4 hits and striking out 6.
• This will be Lewis’ first start of the season against the Blue Jays.
• Of current Blue Jays, long-time Ranger killers Rajai Davis (.375) and Jose Bautista (.375, 2 HRs) tend to tee off on Colbyashi.
• J.P. Arrencibia has had only two at bats against the big man from Bakersfield, but his one knock was of the four-bag variety.
For Lewis to get the win today, he’ll have to command his fastball by hitting his spots and keeping it down in the zone. With the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington’s infamous “Jetstream” in full effect, Lewis won’t be afforded many mistakes; a hanging slider might go 400 feet.
• The 22-year-old Venezuelan right-hander is making just his 20th major league start this afternoon, and has never faced the Texas Rangers.
• Much like Morrow, Alvarez was roughed-up by the Tampa Bay Rays last month, surrendering 6 earned runs on 6 hits.
• Unlike Morrow, Alvarez was knocked around by the Mets last week, as he watched his ERA swell from 2.62 to 3.30 after allowing 6 earned runs on 9 hits over his 5 innings pitched.
• Over his 9 pervious starts this season, Alvarez has allowed an average of 6.5 hits per start, and more than 8 hits per game over his last three starts.
The Rangers can win if:
• They can set the tone today much like last night. Ian Kinsler helped pave the way for a big day from Nelson Cruz, as his 14 pitch leadoff at bat was the early nail in the coffin that sealed Brandon Morrow’s fate.
• Colby Lewis can keep the ball off of Randoll Mill Road. Even though the Rangers whipped up on the Jays last night, Toronto is still a solid team capable of putting runs on the board in a hurry.
• I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Nelson Cruz will NOT knock in 8 runs again this afternoon…but it will be exciting to see if Boomstick’s big night carries over to today.
• Rangers win 5-3 as Colbyashi surrenders a couple of solo shots, but ultimately pitches well enough to go six innings and earn his 5th victory of the season.