(AP Photo/Gail Burton) Will The Sox Win The AL East? Connelly’s Top Ten: Brady Being Poked, Pink Hats Strike Again, Stand Up! UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29:  From the book New York Exposed. Willie Mays' famous eighth inning catch going away from home plate in the first game of the 1954 World SEries between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians.  (Photo by Frank Hurley/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images) Connelly’s Top Ten: Sox Managers Worse Than Farrell, Loaded 1966 All-Star Team, Brady-Belichick’s ‘Feud’ 2564856329_a79fdbbc29_z NBA Preview: 2016-2017 Boston Celtics

Red Sox and Rangers Set to Stage Wild Weekend

Kevin Millwood has beaten the Red Sox twice this season and faces Jon Lester, who is the only Red Sox pitcher faring well against them.

The Red Sox finally woke up a bit at home against the Tigers, but hit the road again, to face the team they are leading in the Wild Card race. The Rangers sit just one half game behind the Red Sox for the final playoff spot in the American League, so the winner of this series is the leader after the weekend. The Sox are 1-5 against Texas this season, including 0-3 in Arlington, the site of this weekend’s series, which is the final between the teams this season.

Based on the Red Sox track record in the second half so far, the first game will be very important: in the last seven series, the winner of the first game won or split the series. Jon Lester (1-0, CG, 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 11 K, 2 BB vs TEX this season) and Kevin Millwood (2-0, 13.0 IP, 2 ER, 13 H, 8 K, 5 BB vs BOS this season) will duel in the important first game. Brad Penny (0-1, 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 H, 5 K, 2 BB) and rookie Derek Holland (0-1, 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 5 K, 2 BB), who took the only loss for Texas this season, lock horns in the second game. Finally, Junichi Tazawa (1-1, 4.05 ERA, 1.50 WHIP this season), coming off his first big league win, will tangle with Dustin Nippert (1-0, 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 2 BB) in the getaway game. The pitching has been the difference in keeping the Rangers competitive this season including closer Frank Francisco (2.01 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 10.05 K/9, 16/18 SV) and C. J. Wilson (3.20, 1.28, 9.59, 14/17), who has filled in for him while he has been injured.

The Rangers can score and hit home runs like few other teams and have eight guys with double digit home run totals. Nelson Cruz is the leader with 25, to go along with a .269 average, 58 RBI, 56 runs, and 17 steals. Hank Blalock (.249 BA, 56 RBI, 52 R) and the about-to-return Ian Kinsler (.242, 63, 61, 22 SB) each have 23 home runs. Michael Young is their most well rounded hitter, and the only regular over .300, with a .318 average. He has 19 HR, 33 2B, 52 RBI, 64 R, and seven swipes.

The Red Sox really struggle against this team and historically, road trips through Texas are not known for their success, regardless of how good the Rangers seem to be. This looks to be another tough trip, one that likely will cost the Red Sox the Wild Card lead as they will probably drop two.

Tags: , ,

Discussion

No comments for “Red Sox and Rangers Set to Stage Wild Weekend”

Post a comment