The Week Ahead: Red Sox, Blue Jays
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers begin a difficult stretch of 20 straight days of games starting with a six-game road trip to Boston and Toronto after Monday's off day.
|Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss how the Rangers could handle Jurickson Profar when Ian Kinsler returns from the DL, how Elvis Andrus talked his way into the lineup and what asset he would add to the roster.
Clash of the Titans: The Rangers and Red Sox each have 35 wins, tied for the most in the American League. The Rangers are percentage points ahead of Boston for the AL's best record at 35-21 (.625) while the Red Sox are 35-23 (.603). The St. Louis Cardinals have baseball's best record and winning percentage at 37-19 (.661).
Red Sox hot again: Boston has won seven of 10 games and just won a series at Yankee Stadium. The Red Sox lead the AL East by 2 1/2 games over Baltimore and three games over the Yankees and Tampa Bay. Boston is a season-high 12 games over .500 for the third time this season. The Red Sox are 13-6 since May 15 after losing nine of 11 games before that. The Rangers started that slide with a three-game sweep of the Red Sox in Arlington, outscoring Boston 16-4.
|Steve Busby joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Yu Darvish's ability to pitch well even when he doesn't have his best stuff, why he thinks the pitch count talk is overblown and how he would handle Jurickson Profar once Ian Kinsler returns from the DL.
Jays bring up rear: The AL East is a tightly-bunched four-team race with the Blue Jays the one team on the outside looking in. Toronto did salvage a game in San Diego over the weekend as former Ranger Mark DeRosa hit a home run in the 11th inning to spark a 7-4 victory over the Padres in 11 innings Sunday night. Toronto opens the week with a 24-33 record, eight games behind the Red Sox. The Blue Jays are 14-16 at home.
Big offseason backfires: The Blue Jays acquired shortstop Jose Reyes, pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson and catcher John Buck in a blockbuster trad with Miami, and also signed Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and outfielder Melky Cabrera as they made the biggest offseason splash in baseball. So far it hasn't worked. Dickey is 4-7 with a 5.18 ERA. Johnson is just back from the disabled list and is 0-1 with a 6.86 ERA for four starts. Buerhle is 2-4 with a 5.42 ERA. Reyes has played in 10 games and has been out with a high ankle sprain and is just now getting close to a rehab assignment.
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.