Numbers: Nelson Cruz's two-HR game
Both of Cruz's homers came on sliders away, a pitch and location he's struggled with in recent years.
Entering Saturday, Cruz was hitting .194 and slugging .230 in the last four seasons against sliders away (MLB averages .193, .268). He had swung 334 times and hit just two home runs. He swung at four sliders away Saturday and hit two out. He's only the second player in the last four seasons to hit two home runs on sliders away in a single game (Troy Tulowitzki the other).
It could be yet one more sign that Cruz is starting to figure things out at the plate and is ready to produce some more pop in the middle of the Rangers' lineup.
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.