Monday, August 4, 2008

Deep in the Heart of Texas

The Yankees (61-50) open a three game road series this evening with the Texas Rangers (58-54). Temperatures are expected to be near 100 at game time at the Ballpark in Arlington for each game.

Texas has a lineup full of fire power, but they probably will be without one of their main parts for the series. Milton Bradley has missed the last 5 games with a quad injury and is probably headed to the DL. The Rangers still have the majors league RBI man in Josh Hamilton, who has driven in 106 runs this season.

Second baseman Ian Kinsler has 38 doubles, a .508 slugging percentage, and has stolen 25 bases in 26 attempts. Rookie first baseman Chris Davis has 11 home runs and 22 RBI in just 122 at-bats, and is sporting a .989 OPS. Another rookie David Murphy is one of the top first year players with 14 HR and 71 RBI. And of course, shortstop Michael Young is a perennial All-Star.

The Rangers' pitching is still their Waterloo. Their 5.25 ERA is the worst in the major leagues. They're without veteran Kevin Millwood, though his ERA is over 5, who is on the DL with a groin strain. Closer C.J. Wilson has 24 saves in 28 tries, but is sporting a 5.28 ERA that balloons to 6.49 at home.

The two teams met June 30 - July 2nd with the Rangers winning a pair of pitcher's duels before the Yankees won in an 18-8 blowout.

Here are the matchups for the series:

Monday - Joba Chamberlain vs. Vincente Padilla
Tuesday - Andy Pettitte vs. Matt Harrison
Wednesday - Sidney Ponson vs. Tommy Hunter
Thursday - Mike Mussina vs. Scott Feldman

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