Matchup: Nick Tepesch vs. Lucas Harrell
Tepesch (3-6, 4.71 ERA): Tepesch is 0-2 with 7.72 ERA in his last five starts He hasn't won since May 12 against Houston when he gave up one run in six innings, allowing four hits, walking one and striking out a career-high eight batters Tepesch is 1-3 with a 4.99 ERA in eight starts at Rangers Ballpark He's allowed five home runs in 39⅔ innings Left-handers continue to give Tepesch fits, batting .314 and hitting nine home runs in 185 at-bats Tepesch's struggles the second and third time through the batting order are well-chronicled; his batting average against is .261 the second time and .446 the third time and later.
Harrell (5-8, 4.59 ERA): Harrell pitched well but lost his last time out, falling to the Los Angeles Angels 3-1 on Sunday He allowed one run on six hits in seven innings and had seven strikeouts, matching his season high He is 1-2 with a 3.22 ERA in June, a big bounce back after going 1-4 with a 7.53 ERA in May He has done well on the road: 2-2 record and a 2.70 ERA in six starts Harrell has faced the Rangers one time this season, in the opening series in Houston, taking a loss despite allowing just one run in six innings. Rangers starter Yu Darvish came within an out of a perfect game in that April 2 matchup against Harrell.
Hitters: The current Astros roster is 4-for-23 against Tepesch with a home run by Jason Castro being the only extra-base hit. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is 5-for-10 with four RBIs against Harrell.
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.