Airing tonight on ESPN, the Rangers and the Yankees face-off for the final game of the this three-game series. Alexi Ogando will be up against CC Sabathia. Despite Ogando having a blister on his finger, he is still scheduled to start today. He has been working in between his starts and hasn’t had any trouble with his finger.
Ogando has two starts on the season so far and has not given up a single run. As most of you already know, Ogando has been a replacement for Tommy Hunter since he suffered a groin injury at the end of Spring Training. If Ogando keeps this up, the club may be looking for a replacement in the bullpen for a long man and keep Ogando in the rotation. We’ll analyze something like this happening soon…until then, here’s a look at the matchup for tonight’s game at Yankee Stadium.
27-year-old Ogando is 2-0 for the season and has a 0.00 ERA. His hitters have no idea what’s coming when he is on the mound and he has an effective slider and strong command of his fastball. This guy is very aggressive on the mound. Over 13 innings pitched, he has eight strikeouts and three walks and while he has allowed four hits, none of them have scored. Against the Yankees, he has three strikeouts and no walks over 2 2/3 innings – scoreless, of course – against the Yanks.
Sabathia is 0-1 with an earned run average of 1.45. He has been on the mound three times this season and has allowed four runs. In his third start against Boston, he only lasted 5 2/3 innings after allowing nine hits and four walks although he only allowed a sole run. He reached 118 for his pitch count and missed his third quality start. Against the Rangers for his career, he has a 4.29 ERA and is 8-3.He’ll look to try to redeem himself tonight on the mound after his last start.
Pitchers vs. Hitters
Alexi Ogando: With only six at-bats, the Yankees don’t have much experience against this reliever turned starter. Eduardo Nunez is the only Yankee that has a hit off Ogando, which was in his only at-bat against him.
CC Sabathia: With the most experience, Michael Young has 5 RBIs off Sabathia and is 12-for-38 and Mike Napoli has 2 runs batted in and is 3-for-9, which includes one home run. Nelson Cruz is 0-for-5 and Adrian Beltre is 3-for-22 – obviously, both have found difficulty hitting off Sabathia. Chris Davis, Elvis Andrus and Julio Borbon are all 0-for-2. Ian Kinsler is 2-for-9 and has four RBIs. It may be time for Kinsler to step up his game again and find his swing at the plate since both of those two hits off Sabathia are home runs.
Yankees lineup vs. Alexi Ogando
Alex Rodriguez finds himself sitting out of the series finale after leaving yesterday’s game during the sixth inning with stifness in his lower back. In his place at third base and in the lineup will be Eric Chavez.
SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
1B Mark Teixeira
2B Robinson Cano
RF Nick Swisher
3B Eric Chavez
DH Jorge Posada
C Russell Martin
LF Brett Gardner
Rangers lineup vs. CC Sabathia
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
DH Michael Young
3B Adrian Beltre
RF Nelson Cruz
1B Mike Napoli
LF David Murphy
C Yorvit Torrealba
CF Julio Borbon
It’s going to be tough for the Rangers to hit off Sabathia, but it’s also going to be difficult for the Yankees to hit the ball against Ogando. This is going to one of the toughest match-ups yet for this series but I think the Rangers can come out on top – but barely – 4-3 allowing them to win this series. And I think Kinsler will hit a homer!
Chime in below with your predictions!