By Ben Dieter
The Rangers have had a great month of August, which we all said they needed to, but it is not over yet. The Rangers have one more last place team they have to face before they close the book on a month that has seen then win 19 while losing only 6. Remember that almost all of this is happening without the bat on Nelson Cruz. Adrian Beltre has been almost MVP worthy with his performance, Leonys Martin has been great, Elvis Andrus in coming on and Kinsler is hitting much better. This offense seems to be able to get the job done on most nights, and as Eric mentioned in his last article, the Rangers have not allowed 5 runs or more in a game since July 30. Pitching is the key to this team. The Rangers pitching staff in the month of August looks like this:
ERA: 3.09 (second in the AL)
FIP: 3.78 (fifth in the AL)
xFIP: 3.69 (second in the AL)
BABIP: .268 (first in the AL)
WAR: 4.1 (fifth in the AL)
K/9: 8.66 (second in the AL)
The Rangers welcome the Twins to the ballpark this weekend, and the it should be an entertaining series. Tonight, we get Yu Darvish (12-5, 2.68 ERA), who is in the running for the Cy Young award, against Liam Hendriks (0-2, 6.20 ERA). If Yu pitches like we all know that he can, this should be a win for the Rangers. and it should also be the twentieth win of the season for them. Hendriks has only faced the Rangers once, and he got a no decision in the six innings that pitched, sporting an ERA if 1.50 in that game. Similarly, Darvish has only face the Twins once and also got a no decision after pitching 5.2 innnigs. His ERA in that game was 1.59.
Saturday the Rangers send Matt Garza (3-2, 4.44 ERA) to the hill against Mike Pelfrey (5-10, 5.06 ERA). Garza has not pitched incredibly well in a Rangers uniform and has clearly fallen to the no. 4 spot in the rotation. I tend to agree with what others have written on this site that he may have been overhyped a little bit coming to the Rangers. Garza needs a good game Saturday in order to keep the Rangers fans on his side. Losing to Minnisota would not be a good thing for his popularity.
Sunday, the Rangers send Travis Blackley (1-0, 4.50 ERA) out for his third start since joining the Rangers to face off against the Twins Kevin Correia (8-10. 4.32 ERA). Blackley has been adequate as the fifth starter so far since replacing Alexi Ogando in the rotation. 4.50 is a bit high for an ERA, but, he has only started twice and has not lost yet. My fear of the young guys is at some point they will
The Rangers have had a great August, I hope they finish out with 21 wins and start September with a win before going on to take on the division rival Athletics in Oakland next week.