Quick hits before the getaway game
Today's afternoon start (2:35 CT) sets up as a terrific pitching matchup as C.J. Wilson looks for a team-best 11th win against Jered Weaver, the majors' ERA leader.
Here's a some quick-hitters to get you ready:
* Manager Ron Washington said Wednesday night that Nelson Cruz will be back in the lineup after the slumping slugger sat out Wednesday night's game. David Murphy played in right field and contributed two hits, including a two-run home run.
* Josh Hamilton continues to deal with his frustrations at the plate during day games. Don't expect him to sit this one. Washington made that clear Wednesday, saying also that he has never considered dropping Hamilton in the lineup in day games. Perhaps one positive for Hamilton is that it is an overcast morning in Anaheim, although the forecast calls for the clouds for the burn off.
Hamilton has tried special contact lenses and now he could go to sunglasses that he's talked about some. We'll soon find out.
* Mike Napoli will be behind the plate for today's finale, Washington said, giving him two starts against his former team in this series. In the opener, Napoli reached base in his first four at-bats and twice walked with two-outs and came around to score both times.
* Elvis Andrus had a tough night Wednesday, going hitless in four at-bats with a couple strikeouts, plus a throwing error in the first inning when the Angels struck for two runs, and then later being unable to throw out two Angels hitters that reached on infield singles in the six-run sixth inning. However, prior to the game, Washington said he has no plans to rest Andrus for today's game, saying the All-Star break and Monday's off day should have provided him plenty of rest.
* Infielder Andres Blanco continues to have issues with his back. It's keeping him from taking batting practice in the cages with his normal weight bat, instead using the lighter fungo bat. Washington didn't seem concerned that Blanco be out longer than expected, but it is not certain if Blanco will be ready to come off the disabled list when he's eligible in a few days.
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.