Week ahead: Angels, Mariners

September, 17, 2012

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers have 16 games remaining in the 2012 season and are in the middle of a pennant race. They'll face the AL West in all of those remaining games. They travel to Anaheim later today to start a three-game series Tuesday with the Angels and have three games with Seattle over the weekend. Here's a look at a few things to watch:

* Scoreboard watching. Everyone will be paying attention to the A's, who lost Sunday. The Rangers are three games up with 16 to play.

* The Angels come in after taking two of three in Kansas City over the weekend. The lone loss was a tough one, blowing a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth Saturday. Los Angeles still has plenty to play for as it is in range of the AL wild card. The Rangers and Angels will see each other six more times this season, including three in Arlington on Sept. 28-30, the final homestand of the season for Texas.

* Ryan Dempster will attempt to keep his winning ways going when he takes the mound Tuesday. He has won five consecutive starts (starts, not just decisions) and has quality starts in all of those outings. The club record for wins in consecutive starts is eight by Kenny Rogers in 2005.

* The bullpen hasn't been at 100 percent, but should be good to go this week. Look for Mike Adams to return in Anaheim and with Robbie Ross now active, the club gets a reliable arm back in the fold. Joe Nathan, after a heavy workload las week, got a few days off and should be rested and ready.

* Martin Perez. He was named the club's fifth starter after Sunday's game, replacing Scott Feldman. He'll pitch against the Mariners again Friday.

* Mike Napoli caught the last two games and returned Saturday after missing 33 games with the strained left quad. He had a three-run homer Saturday and said he feels comfortable. You may not see him running at full speed, but he doesn't feel the quad when he's catching or moving laterally behind the plate. That's important.

* Josh Hamilton has five extra-base hits in his last four games (two homers and three doubles) and leads the league in homers (42) and RBIs (123). His career-high for RBIs is 130 set in 2008. Can he get close to that mark during this road trip?

* Texas will likely see Hisashi Iwakuma and Jason Vargas again in Seattle.

* Can the Rangers continue to win series? They've won eight of their last nine series and continue to preach that if they win series, they'll be fine.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?


Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Jon Daniels

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Jim Bowden

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.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.

Galloway & Company: Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ron Washington

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Fire Wash?

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.


Martin Perez
2 2.70 12 20
BAE. Andrus .309
HRE. Andrus 1
RBIA. Rios 7
RE. Andrus 8
OPSS. Choo .796
ERAY. Darvish 0.00
SOY. Darvish 15