C.J. Wilson to follow Cliff Lee vs. Giants

Updated: October 26, 2010, 11:01 AM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington won't mess with his rotation order, deciding to follow ace Cliff Lee with C.J. Wilson in Game 2 and then Colby Lewis in Game 3 when the series shifts to Texas.

Wednesday's Game 1 at AT&T Park will feature a marquee pitching matchup between 2008 American League Cy Young Award winner Lee (3-0, 0.75 ERA) and the San Francisco Giants' two-time winner Tim Lincecum (2-1, 1.93 ERA).

Wilson (1-1, 3.93 ERA), coming off a five-inning loss in Game 5 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees, is expected to face Matt Cain (1-0, 0.00 ERA) on Thursday. Lewis (2-0, 1.45 ERA), who clinched the AL pennant for the Rangers with an eight-inning gem against the Yankees, is expected to go against Jonathan Sanchez (0-1, 2.93 ERA).

Washington stuck with the same order in the ALDS and ALCS, but at least briefly considered flipping Wilson and Lewis for the World Series.

"We don't expect to change it," Washington said. "It could change, but I don't expect it. I expect to go Cliff, C.J. and Colby."

Washington also said he has settled on right-hander Tommy Hunter to start Game 4. Hunter (0-1, 6.44 ERA) has had two short outings in the postseason. He was bailed out in Game 4 at New York by a solid relief outing by lefty Derek Holland and a late offensive surge.

Holland (1-0, 2.61 ERA) was a candidate to replace Hunter, but the Giants present a predominantly right-handed batting order, and Washington said he prefers to keep Holland in middle relief.

"Holland has done a great job. He gives us something coming out of that bullpen," Washington said. "He can [pitch] to both left and right [handed hitters]. He fits right now coming out of the bullpen."

As for the bullpen, Washington said he will take until Wednesday morning when rosters must be finalized to settle his relief situation. Washington went with four left-handed pitchers -- Darren Oliver, Holland, Clay Rapada and Michael Kirkman -- in the bullpen against the Yankees.

Washington could decide to go with another right-handed reliever. Mark Lowe, Scott Feldman and Dustin Nippert are available.

"We've got 'til Wednesday to decide that and we'll do what we did last time and take it to the end," Washington said. "I think everybody that's been here with us is considered. We just haven't decided if we want to keep what we have or if we're going to make a move."

Washington is clearly contemplating starting Vladimir Guerrero in Games 1 and 2 when the designated hitter rule is not in effect.

"My main concern is Vlad's offense," Washington said. "I'm trying to keep that in there. His presence, I'm trying to keep that in there. He's definitely going to start Game 1 [in right field] and then we'll see."

Jeff Caplan is a reporter and columnist for ESPNDallas.com.

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