W2W4: Rangers vs. White Sox
Friday: LHP Martin Perez (6-3, 3.48) vs. LHP Chris Sale (9-11, 2.78), 7:10 p.m.
Saturday: RHP Yu Darvish (12-5, 2.68) vs. LHP Hector Santiago (4-7, 3.27), 6:10 p.m.
Sunday: RHP Matt Garza (9-2, 3.81) vs. LHP John Danks (3-10, 4.22), 1:10 p.m.
|ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the Rangers' aggressive style of play and bullpen struggles. |
For starters: The White Sox starting pitchers have been on a hot streak too, and have been solid all season led by Sale. Chicago starters have a 6-1 record and a 2.52 ERA for their last 10 games. Going back further, they are 8-7 with a 3.14 ERA for their last 27 games. They have a total of 19 quality starts during that span. Chicago starters are second in the AL with a 3.80 ERA.
Leaning left: The White Sox are throwing three left-handed starters in this series with Sale, Santiago and Danks. The Rangers have won seven straight games against left-handed starters after beating Houston's Erik Bedard on Wednesday. The only lefty to beat the Rangers in the last 12 games against a southpaw was Baltimore's Wie-Yin Chin, who won twice in a nine-day span in July. The Rangers lost consecutive games to Sale and Santiago on May 1 and 2.
Playing spoiler: The White Sox are in a stretch where they are playing 23 of their 26 games against teams with winning records, starting with Kansas City on Tuesday and now with the first-place Rangers on Friday. They will play the three teams in the first place in the AL -- Boston, Detroit and Texas. The White Sox are 9-10 against those teams this season, which includes winning two out of three from the Rangers April 30-May 2.
Windy City homecoming: Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski and right fielder Alex Rios will play for the first time as an opposing player at U.S. Cellular Field since coming to the Rangers. Pierzynski, signed in the offseason as a free agent, played the previous eight seasons with Chicago, helping the White Sox win the 2005 World Series. Pierzynski has 14 home runs and 54 RBIs. Rios of course came to the Rangers in a trade two weeks ago. Rios is batting .273 with three RBIs and six runs scored since the Aug. 9 trade.
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.