W2W4: Rangers vs. Angels
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Josh Hamilton is coming back to Arlington as a member of the Los Angeles Angels. That should make for a festive home opener at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington -- not that this day needed anything to make it special -- and an intense three-game series.
|Josh Hamilton is in Arlington for the Rangers' home opener against the Angels. Listen in to Hamilton's comments. Then, ESPN Insider Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about the Rangers-Angels rivalry. |
Here are five things to look for:
Hamilton: It's difficult to know exactly how Rangers fans will react to Hamilton's return after the team collapsed at the end of last season. Many fans pointed the finger at Hamilton, forgetting about the special moments he gave them. The guess is there will be a mix of applause and boos. Hamilton had a rough opening series against the Reds, going 1-for-12 with a two-run single.
Darvish vs. Weaver: Super pitching matchup in Sunday's series finale. The Rangers' Yu Darvish will pitch for the first time since coming within one out of a perfect game Tuesday in Houston. Jared Weaver gave up a run in six innings in the Angels' opener against the Reds.
Rangers' No. 3 hole: The Rangers have gone from Josh Hamilton, more likely to swing at the first pitch than not, to Lance Berkman, who thrives on plate discipline. Berkman has reached base in nine of 12 plate appearances. Can he continue to have good at-bats in his new home ballpark with Hamilton in the shadows?
Joe Nathan: The Rangers' closer was brilliant in his first appearance of the season Wednesday against the Astros, striking out the side to secure a 4-0 victory. The Rangers would love to get to Nathan in this series and give him a chance to slam the door on the Angels.
Mike Trout: The 2012 American League Rookie of the Year tortured the Rangers last season. He batted .338 with six home runs and seven stolen bases. He scored 21 runs and had 17 RBIs. Rangers pitchers gave him way too many free passes with 16 walks, giving him even more chances to do damage on the basepaths. Trout was a non-factor as the Angels lost two out of three games in Cincinnati. He had two hits in 11 at-bats and didn't score a run or steal a base. Hopefully the Rangers stole the Reds' secret to stopping him.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.