New York Yankees (17-12) at Texas Rangers (17-15) Preview Game 1


Despite a loss last night, Colby Lewis did finally get back in his fastball groove and the right mindset for the game. He pitched well enough to win last night against the Mariners at Safeco Field, but his team wasn’t able to back him up with enough on the offensive side of the plate. The Mariners scored three and the Rangers were able to score one.

The Texas Rangers are now back home at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington where they will begin a three-game series tonight against the New York Yankees. The first series for Texas and New York was last month at Yankee Stadium in which the Yankees took two of the three wins. In 2010, the Yankees were 1-4 against the Rangers in Texas.

Pitching matchups, pitchers vs. hitters and my prediction is all after the jump – hope you enjoy!

Pitching Matchups

LHP Matt Harrison gets the start for the Rangers. Harrison is 3-3 with a 4.59 ERA, which is bad when he started the season off with a very impressive 1.29 ERA. Now, I’m a little worried about Harrison tonight as his mental capacity has been reached early on in two of his past games. Last time out, the 25-year-old lasted only 1.2 innings in which he allowed four runs on six hits against the Oakland Athletics. The time before against Toronto, which was his first struggle of the season, he lasted three innings giving up seven runs on eight hits. If he doesn’t get his shit together, he may find himself struggling not just on the mound but struggling to keep his spot in the Rangers’ starting rotation.

The last win of Harrison’s was surprisingly against the Yankees in April. He allowed just two runs on seven hits over eight innings pitched resulting in a 5-3 victory for Texas.

The Yankees hand the ball to RHP Ivan Nova for tonight’s start in Arlington. Nova is 2-2 with a 5.14 ERA. The 24-year-old is coming off a decent game in which he received the win decision. He pitched 6.1 innings allowing two runs on six hits against Toronto. In his previous outing, he pitched the same amount of innings allowing just one run on five hits. His first game of the season, he pitched six innings allowing three runs on six hits. His next game against Boston, he allowed four runs on seven hits over 4.1 innings.

He then pitched the same amount of innings against Texas on April 15 in which he allowed five runs on four hits.

Pitchers vs. Hitters

LHP Matt Harrson:  Alex Rodriguez is 4-for-9 with two doubles and five RBIs, Nick Swisher is 4-for-10 with three RBIs, Curtis Granderson is 4-for-10 with one homer and one RBI, Derek Jeter is 3-for-11 with one double and one RBI, Robinson Cano is 2-for-9 with one triple and two RBIs and Mark Teixeira is 1-for-7 with one double and one RBI. The rest of the Yankees haven’t been able to get a hit off Harrison or haven’t faced him.

RHP Ivan Nova: Most of the Rangers have only one or two at-bats against Nova except for Adrian Beltre is 1-for-4 one double and Michael Young is 2-for-3 one double two RBIs. Nelson Cruz is 1-for-2 but the rest of the Rangers have been unable to get a hit off Nova.

My Prediction

To win this game, Matt Harrison is going to have to maintain his concentration on this game. He can’t have this outing turn into the two previous ones. He not only needs to make it through this game strong and solid for his team but for himself as well if he wants his shot in the Majors. Based on performances thus far, Harrison is going to be the one for Tommy Hunter to replace when he comes back off the DL and Alexi Ogando, despite him being the temporary starter in Hunter’s absence, will likely maintain his starting position.

However, Harrison isn’t the only key to this game as the Rangers’ offense is as well. If the offense performs as they did last night, there’s no way that this game is going to be a victory for Texas. This team needs to get their act together, come together as a team and show that they are AL defending champions.