After taking the series in Tampa Bay two out of three, the Rangers are headed to Cleveland to face the Indians where they hope to take yet another series, but it’s more than likely to be a split.
With their win yesterday, they are now 1.5 games ahead of the Seattle Mariners; however, the Indians also lead their division. These two teams could very likely be the two teams facing off in the 2011 ALCS vying for a chance to make it to the World Series.
Cleveland has a good record at home being 19-6, but against the Rangers, they are only 4-15 at home. As for the Rangers, they are coming into this game having won seven of their last 10 games and this game isn’t going to be an easy one for the Indians when you consider the previous matchups between the two teams.
RHP Carlos Carrasco starts for Cleveland and holds a 4-2 record with a 3.91 ERA this season. If he wins tonight, it will be his fourth straight win. Last time out, Carrasco allowed two earned runs over six innings against Tampa Bay on the road in a 7-3 win for the Indians.
The young 24-year-old has just one start for his career against Texas, which came on September 8, 2009, and was also his second start in the Majors. He factored a no decision after allowing five runs on eight hits over five innings while walking three and striking out four. At home, he has allowed 15 runs on 22 hits over 17.2 innings.
Rangers’ lefty Matt Harrison was supposed to get the start tonight but has been suffering from a blister ever since last Saturday’s game and was scratched yesterday. Dave Bush is replacing him on the mound tonight.
The 31-year-old is 0-1 in two spot starts this year and has an earned run average of 4.43. May 8 was his last start in which he allowed the Yankees to score three runs over four innings in a 12-5 loss for the Rangers. His last relief appearance was Monday in which he pitched a scoreless ninth but his first loss for the season came Friday against the Royals when he came in for the 14th inning and allowed five earned runs including three homers. I wasn’t a happy camper either!
On the road, he has pitched 9.1 innings allowing two runs on nine hits so at least his stats on the road are relatively decent; however, I’m still not happy with him being Harrison’s replacement. They could have at least found someone of a little bit better caliber such as recalling Ryan Tucker or Cody Eppley.
Pitchers vs. Hitters
RHP Carlos Carrasco: Ian Kinsler and Mike Napoli 2-for-3. David Murphy and Elvis Andrus each have a hit out of 3 at-bats with two RBIs and one RBI respectively. Nelson Cruz may only be 0-for-2 when it comes to Carrasco, but he has been batting well – 3-for-4 on Wednesday.
RHP Dave Bush: Shin-Soo Choo is 2-for-2 with one homer and two RBIs. Austin Kearns and Adam Everett have both gotten five hits off Bush in 19 and 18 at-bats respectively. Everett has three RBIs and three doubles and Kearns has five RBIs as well as two doubles and two homers. Shortstop has never faced Bush, but he is hitting impressively right now and will be one of the largest threats who went 4-for-6 yesterday – and six of his 10 home runs this season have come at home.