Sunday, June 9, 2013
Matchup: Justin Grimm vs. Josh Johnson
By Todd Wills
The Rangers try to avoid a three-game sweep Sunday when rookie right-hander Justin Grimm goes up against Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Josh Johnson at 12:07 p.m. Sunday on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN-FM 103.3 and 1540-AM.
Grimm (5-4, 5.13): Grimm will be looking for a huge bounce back game ... The 24-year-old rookie allowed eight runs in 1 2/3 innings on Tuesday night in Boston, the worst outing by a Rangers' starter this season ... His ERA rose from 3.93 to his current mark of 5.13 ... He allowed two runs in the first inning and six more before being taken out in the second inning as the Rangers went on to lose 17-5 ... Grimm's keys are keeping the ball in the ballpark and having his usual pinpoint control ... He has two walks total in his five wins ... He has allowed at least a home run and two walks in his four losses ... Despite Tuesday's nightmare, Grimm leads American League rookies with five wins, six quality starts and 45 strikeouts ... The Rangers' offense, mired in a big slump, has produced for Grimm with 7.79 runs of support per nine innings, the most in the major leagues ... Grimm is 2-3 with a 7.14 ERA for six road starts, nearly 4.5 more earned runs per start ... He has never faced the Blue Jays.
Johnson (0-2, 5.40): Johnson arrived in Toronto in the blockbuster offseason trade that also brought Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes ... But he's been disappointing so far, partially because of an injury ... He returned from right triceps tendinitis earlier this week and had his best start of the season, allowing a run in seven innings ... Johnson didn't have a walk and had six strikeouts ... Johnson will make his fifth start of the season ... He has 25 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings ... Johnson has a career 3.22 ERA ... He got a no decision in his one career start against the Rangers, allowing a run in seven innings.
Hitters: Grimm has never faced the Blue Jays. Lance Berkman (4-for-12, 1 HR, 4 RBIs) and Geovany Soto (3-for-8, HR, 2 RBIs) have had success against Johnson.