Texas Rangers at Boston Red Sox: Game Preview


Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Your Texas Rangers begin a three-game set with the Boston Red Sox tonight at 6PM in Fenway Park. Through six games in the young 2014 season, the Rangers are 3-3 and the Red Sox are 2-4.  So how do we match-up for tonight?


Tanner Scheppers (0-1, 15.75) vs. John Lackey (1-0, 3.00)

Lackey struggled much of Spring Training, giving up 13 runs in 18.2 innings (an ERA of 6.27).  But, in his first start of the season, he held the Orioles to two runs and just three hits in six innings, with a commanding fastball on display. Tonight’s start against the Texas Rangers will be Lackey’s second of the year.

The good news is that the Rangers typically hit Lackey pretty well.  In 38 career starts against the Rangers, he has an ERA of 6.01.  Of course, those 38 career starts came against many different Rangers.  Of the current group, only Prince Fielder (.444 in 9 plate appearances) and Leonys Martin (.333 in 4 PAs) have really good averages against Lackey. Well…and Donnie Murphy is hitting .500 in 3 plate appearances. Does that count?  I guess if Leonys’ 4 count, then Donnie’s 3 do.

And what about our starter?  Are we ready to talk about Tanner now?  It’s been a week since Opening Day; I think it’s time to begin the healing process.  Okay…I’ll do this recap quickly for those who missed it.  Like a band-aid…RIGHT OFF!  Scheppers gave up 7 runs, 8 hits, and 3 walks over 4 innings last Monday.  That’s an ERA of 15.75 that I won’t be happy to see highlighted on the TV graphics tonight.

I think you know what I’m going to say about that start.  If you don’t, here it is:  Tanner was nerve-stricken on Opening Day.  Not only was it Opening Day, but is was his first Big League start ever for crying out loud.  I think he’s going to settle into his new role just fine.  Tonight would be as good a time to start as any.  The Red Sox have 7 total plate appearances against Tanner.  Seven.  For the whole dang team; and that really only includes Mike Napoli (Remember him?  Of course you do.), David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Mike Carp, Jonny Gomes, and Daniel Nava; none of them have a hit, and only Napoli has reached base at all (with a walk).  And Carp and Gomes aren’t even playing tonight.

The Red Sox’ unfamiliarity with Tanner and his stuff has got to bode well.

All that’s left for this preview is the hitting.  So here you go:


(Try to read these in Chuck Morgan’s voice if possible)

  1. Shin-Soo Choo, LF
  2. Elvis Andrus, SS
  3. Prince Fielder, 1B
  4. Birthday Boy, 3B
  5. Alex Rios, RF
  6. Mitch Moreland, DH
  7. Donnie Murphy, 2B
  8. Leonys Martin, CF
  9. JP Arencibia, C

(Please insert a loud ‘boooo’ after each name)

  1. Daniel Nava, LF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. David Ortiz, DH
  4. Mike Napoli, 1B
  5. Grady Sizemore, CF
  6. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  7. AJ Pierzynski, C
  8. Jonathan Herrera, 3B
  9. Jackie Bradley, Jr., RF

Unless you’re headed to Fenway, may I suggest:

TV: Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN (Our boys are national news tonight)

Radio:  103.3 FM ESPN

Online: MLB.tv/At Bat

Tomorow, Martin Perez  (0-0, 3.18) will look to extend his solid season start versus Felix Doubront (1-0, 5.06).  But we’ll have a brand spankin’ new preview on that for you tomorrow.

6 down, 156 to go.

Your Texas Rangers are 3-3.