Week ahead: Oakland, Anaheim, off days
It's a strange scheduling quirk this week that has the Texas Rangers with two off days so soon after the All-Star break. But they'll try to take advantage of it and keep the pressure on their two nearest pursuers in the AL West in Oakland and Los Angeles. A look at the week ahead:
|Rangers team president Nolan Ryan dishes on Yu Darvish's poor outing, Matt Harrison's complete game shutout and much more. |
* Texas faces an Oakland team that is 46-43 and going into today's games sits only a half game back in the AL wild-card standings. The Angels and Baltimore are tied for the wild-card lead, but six teams behind them are within 1 1/2 games.
* After the two-game set, the Rangers get another off day Thursday before facing the Angels for three games -- Friday night and Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
* Matt Harrison continues to impress. He won his 12th game of the season Sunday with a complete-game shutout of the Mariners and has a 2.87 ERA. He'll be on the mound during the Angels series.
* The Rangers' offense continues to struggle overall. Since July 1, the Rangers haven't scored more than four runs in a game and are batting just .229 as a team in 10 games (4-6 record overall). They've managed just 2.4 runs per game and have more errors (six) than homers (five).
* Los Angeles lost two of three to the New York Yankees and is now five games behind the Rangers in the AL West. Mark Trumbo was 3-for-5 with a home run in the finale on Sunday, the Angels' only win in the series.
* After this week, the Rangers return home for a 10-game homestand against the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Angels. They'll also be in Arlington as the trade deadline comes and goes.
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.