Texas Rangers: Lucas Harrell
Garza (8-2, 3.40 ERA): Garza makes his sixth start for the Rangers since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs He is 2-1 with a 3.97 ERA for the Rangers Texas is 4-1 in his starts Garza took a no-decision in his last start, a game the Rangers eventually won against Milwaukee 5-4 He allowed four runs on 5⅔ innings It ended a streak of four consecutive starts for the Rangers in which Garza went at least seven innings Garza has allowed two home runs in each of his past two starts He beat the Astros on Aug. 9, allowing four earned runs in a 9-5 victory Garza has allowed four earned runs in each of his past three starts He is 3-3 with a 4.05 ERA over eight career starts against Houston.
Harrell (6-13, 5.16): Harrell steps in for scheduled starter Jordan Lyles, who pitched 2⅓ innings in relief in Houston's 7-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels Harrell started the season in the rotation but has been moved to the bullpen, even with the Astros using a six-man rotation His last start came in Baltimore on July 30 in a spot start in which he pitched 5⅓ innings and allowed four earned runs Harrell was removed from the rotation after a July 5 start at Texas in which he allowed seven runs in 3⅔ innings, including three home runs He is 5-10 with a 5.12 ERA for 20 starts Harrell has been all-or-nothing as a starter He allowed two runs or less in 11 starts Harrell is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA this season against the Rangers.
Hitters: Adrian Beltre (6-for-13, HR, 7 RBIs) has led an onslaught against Harrell with the current Rangers lineup posting a .953 OPS against him. Jason Castro has three hits in nine at-bats with two home runs and five RBIs against Garza.
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.
|Welcome to the debut of the 2013 Ron Washington Show. Every Tuesday at noon, manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest on the Texas Rangers. |
Washington said before the game that he had no problem giving Gentry a chance against a right-hander.
"It didn't seem to effect him in spring training," Washington said. "I have no issues whatsoever with Gentry in the lineup tonight against a righty."
Gentry batted .306 in 36 at-bats against right-handers this spring. He had five extra-base hits, including a home run, among his 11 hits. He also had five RBIs.
Gentry hit .277 against right-handers last season in 141 at-bats. He hit .344 against lefties. He did a better getting through pitches this spring, Washington said.
"Last year he would get there and cut his swing off," Washington said. "This year he's getting to the ball and staying through the ball. That's what is helping him generate the little pop he is generating."
"He's going to give up some runs. The the thing about him, what we like more than anything else, is he continued to attack the zone. He didn't back down. It was nice to get him out there and let him see that if you execute, good things will happen."
|A.J. Pierzynski joins Galloway & Company to discuss the start of the Rangers' season, what he saw from Yu Darvish last year and much more. |
Harrell (11-11, 3.76 ERA in 2012): Harrell starts the Astros' second game for the second consecutive year. ... He led the Astros in wins (11), innings pitched (193 2/3) and starts (32) in 2012. ... He went five or more innings in all but one of his starts. ... He was second in the majors among rookies in innings pitched (Darvish was fourth). ... Harrell pitched well at Minute Maid Park with a 2.34 ERA, fifth best in the National League. ... He's perfect for Minute Maid because he gets ground ball outs. ... Harrell had a 2.44 ground ball/fly ball ratio last season, which ranked third in the majors. ... Harrell had a strong outing in his final spring start, allowing an earned run and four hits in six innings.
Hitters: Adrian Beltre (5-for-7, 4 RBIs), Nelson Cruz (2-for-6, HR, 3 RBIs) and David Murphy (2-for-6, HR, 3 RBIs) all have had success against Harrell. ... Justin Maxwell (1-for-3, HR) is the only returning Astros' player who had a hit against Darvish last season.
|Ian Fitzsimmons and Richard Durrett discuss Elvis Andrus' contract extension with the Rangers and the options the club has with Ian Kinsler and Jurickson Profar. |
The Rangers had six singles Sunday night, three of them coming in the sixth inning. Of all the things they could have used, an extra-base hit would have been at the top of the list against a pitcher, Bud Norris, making his first Opening Day start.
Trailing 4-0 entering the top of the sixth, the Rangers were able to string together a walk and three hits against a wobbly Norris and cut the lead to 4-2. But they couldn't get the extra-base hit to break open the inning.
"Sometimes it takes a little while for the offense to click," said David Murphy, who had one of the Rangers' hits. "We know our offense is good. Usually, we hit some balls hard and have good results."
|Welcome to the debut of the 2013 Ron Washington Show. Every Tuesday at noon, manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest on the Texas Rangers. |
Pierzynski made a good swing, but Bedard was able to keep Pierzynski from pulling the ball for a fly out to center-fielder Justin Maxwell.
"I just popped it up," Pierzynski said. "I just missed it. It happens."
The Rangers' hitters gave credit to Norris, who challenged them with a 94-mph fastball and a hard slider. Lance Berkman had the most success against Norris with two singles.
"It's not like Bud isn't capable," Berkman, a teammate of Norris' in 2009 and part of 2010. "He has a great arsenal. When he has his location, he's a tough guy to beat."
The Rangers have a group of veteran hitters -- except for rookie Leonys Martin -- so they weren't too worried by Sunday's offensive woes.
"It's Game 1," Murphy said. "We lost Game 1 of the 2010 ALCS and won the series (against the Yankees)."
Grimm (ML debut): The 23-year-old is 8-3 with a 1.87 ERA, including 67 strikeouts and 14 walks, in 77 innings pitched with the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders. ... He holds the lowest ERA in the Texas League this season. ... Has gone through seven innings in three of his last four starts with Frisco. ... He was drafted in the fifth round of the 2010 June draft.
Harrell (6-4, 4.83): The 27-year-old is making his 14th start of the season. ... He gave up four runs, one earned, and struck out six over 5.2 innings of work in a win against Texas, on May 19. ... Has picked up a win in his last two starts despite giving up nine combined runs in those outings. ... He holds a 6.13 ERA on the road compared to a home ERA of 2.76.
Hitters: Current Rangers are 6-for-22 against Harrell. ... Adrian Beltre is 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. ... David Murphy is 1-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs. ... Ian Kinsler is 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
Sun. vs. Hou.: RHP Colby Lewis (5-5, 3.13) vs. RHP Bud Norris (5-4, 4.81), 2:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Justin Grimm was nine years old, a first-year pitcher for his little league team in Bristol, Va., when Jimmy Gobble made an appearance at one of his games. Gobble, a pitcher and favorite son of this small town on the Virginia-Tennessee state line, had just been drafted into the major leagues. As kids surrounded Gobble, asking him for autographs, Grimm looked to his parents and simply said: "I want to be that some day."
Saturday, Grimm's childhood dream comes true. He's slated to make his big league debut against the Houston Astros at 6:15 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW. The 23-year-old right-hander will face right-hander Lucas Harrell (6-4, 4.83) in front of a sellout crowd at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
"It's just very overwhelming," Grimm said. "I'm excited to be here and ready for the opportunity. I'm just going to take it a day at a time and try to learn as much as I can from Mike [Maddux] and continue to develop."
Grimm has an 8-3 record at Double-A Frisco this season, posting a 1.87 ERA. He's struck out 67 batters and issued 14 walks in 77 innings (13 starts). Opposing batters are hitting .228 against him.
Grimm describes himself as a power pitcher with a good fastball, a slurve -- a combination between a curve and slider -- and a changeup that he is continuing to develop. He said he's matured as a pitcher since joining the Rangers organization as a fifth-round draft pick in 2010 out of the University of Georgia.
“At the start of the season, I didn’t see myself possibly reaching the big leagues this year," Grimm said. "Once I got into professional ball, I just showed up with the attitude everyday of: ‘What can I learn today?' So I feel like that’s a big part of how I’ve come so far in such a short time.”
Grimm received the news of his promotion a few days ago. He said his coach, Steve Buechele, called him into his office before a game to congratulate him on being selected for the Texas League All-Star team. Before Grimm left the office to say goodbye to his visiting family, Buechele told him to make sure to get them tickets to Arlington because he would be pitching Saturday.
"My jaw just dropped," Grimm said. "My heart started beating a little fast, knees started shaking. But that’s good. I want that feeling. That’s something that I’m never going to forget."
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said he was confident that the move to call up Grimm was the right decision.
"We felt overall, putting together our bullpen and our starting options, that Justin was most ready to help us win a ballgame and step into this role," Daniels said. "I think the developmental staff has done a real nice job with him."
Fellow rookie Robbie Ross was particularly excited to hear the news of Grimm's promotion. Ross and Grimm have the same agent and the two grew close as teammates in the minors.
"I'm fired up for him," Ross said. "It's going to be sweet. I hope he can come in here and enjoy it and not let any pressure get to him. I'm just excited for him."
Grimm is ready to enjoy the ride and doesn't want to put any added pressure on himself. He's already had a chat with manager Ron Washington.
"He said, 'You know, it's the same pitches in Double-A ball and here. You make the pitch, you have success. If you don't, they're going to hit the mistakes,'" Grimm said. "I feel like if I can make my pitches, I'll be all right."
Grimm's chance to make his pitches in the big leagues has finally come and his parents and sister will be in attendance. Grimm said his brother is disappointed because he is the best man in a wedding and has to miss his brother's first start.
"I just told him not to worry about it," Grimm said. "I know he's pretty upset, but hopefully there will be more coming for him to come see."
The Rangers hope Grimm is right. If he is, the club may have found a reliable starting option to help a pitching staff that is short-handed.
HOUSTON -- The Silver Boot series continues at Minute Maid Park after the Rangers took Game 1 on Friday night. Saturday, the Rangers send lefty Derek Holland to take on right-hander Lucas Harrell.
Holland (3-2, 3.78 ERA): He's making his eighth start of the season and first since May 10 at Baltimore. Holland had his start pushed back four days so the club could give him some extra rest and keep Yu Darvish and Colby Lewis on their regular schedules. Holland is 2-0, with a 1.33 ERA on the road, where opponents are hitting just .181 against him. Holland picked up the victory at Baltimore, where he allowed three runs, all unearned over six innings. Against the Astros, Holland is 1-0 with a 4.15 ERA in two career starts. He picked up a win last season at Houston.
Harrell (2-3, 4.40 ERA): Prior to this season, Harrell had just five major league starts. Now, he's scheduled to make his ninth start Saturday night. He took the loss May 14 at Philadelphia. He gave up just two earned runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings with three strikeouts. This is Harrell's first career start versus the Rangers. Harrell's last win came May 4 against St. Louis when he pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing four earned runs, three earned on seven hits. He struck out three.
Sun. at Hou.: RHP Colby Lewis (3-3, 3.63) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (0-0, 3.00), 1:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540/FSSW
HOUSTON --The Texas Rangers got a gutty and sloppy pitching effort from Neftali Feliz and some timely hitting to beat the Houston Astros, 4-1, in Game 1 of the Silver Boot series at Minute Maid Park on Friday night.
How it happened: It wasn't the best night for Feliz, but the Rangers bats helped him out early. Adrian Beltre drove in the first of his two runs with a sacrifice fly to center to bring in Ian Kinsler for the first run of the game in the third inning. Nelson Cruz added to the lead with an RBI single to center. In the fifth, the Rangers added one more run on an RBI double by Michael Young, who seems to have broken out of his slump with two hits and a walk. Beltre closed the deal with a solo shot to left field, that if not for that wall in left center, might have landed in Huntsville.
Long night for Feliz: Feliz was chastized by the manager, walked the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters and threw 84 pitches through four innings. When the Rangers starter's night was done, he had thrown 101 pitches in 4 2/3 innings and for a no-decision. Feliz battled trouble all night and couldn't control his fastball. he walked five, hit one batter and allowed just one run on three hits. He also struck out six. Feliz drew the ire of manager Ron Washington in the fourth inning when he walked pitcher Wandy Rodriguez with two outs. Washington jogged to the mound and after a one-sided conversation, headed back to the dugout. Feliz then struck out Jordan Schafer on three pitches. But Washington had seen enough to pull Feliz in the fifth after two more walks sandwiched around two outs. Rookie Robbie Ross retired Brian Bogusevic on a fielder's choice to end the inning. With Feliz out, Ross became the pitcher of record.
Young gets a hit: It's been a tough stretch for Young. He finished the Rangers' seven-game homestand with just four hits in 27 at-bats. He was hitless in his last 11 at-bats until a second-inning single to center ended the string. For the night, Young went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and an RBI. Before the game, Washington said Young will stay in the lineup and he felt his veteran utility man would break out of his slump. He was right and don't expect Young to sit tomorrow against a right-hander, Lucas Harrell, for Mitch Moreland.
Beltre on a tear: Third baseman Beltre has reached base in his last nine games. Friday night he went 2-for-3 with his eighth home run of the season, a blast to left center. Beltre is 12-for-46 during the last nine games with two doubles and two home runs. In the last 21 games, Beltre has six home runs, five doubles and 18 RBIs.
Joe Nathan gets the save: For the first time since 2009, closer Nathan pitched for a fourth consecutive game. Nathan, who picked up his ninth save, had uneventful ninth inning, including a strikeout to end the game. He has two saves in his last four outings and hasn't allowed a run since May 13. Sept. 13-16, Nathan went four consecutive games for the Minnesota Twins, registering three saves during that time.
Notes: Rangers fans were in full force at Minute Maid Park on Friday night. There was a "Let's Go Rangers" chant in the eighth inning. ... Rangers are now 136-131 all-time in interleague play. ... Rangers are 62-72 in NL parks. ... When Feliz pitches, the Rangers normally do well, they're 5-2 in his starts in 2012. ... Friday night was the Rangers' 14th series of the 2012 season which marked the 14th different opponent. When the Rangers begin a three-game set at Seattle on Monday, it will be the first time they've seen an opponent a second time. ... Yu Darvish will speak with reporters Saturday afternoon. ... With Mike Adams unavailable, Koji Uehara took his spot as the setup man in the eighth. He struck out one in a scoreless inning. ... Kinsler was knocked down by a pitch that sailed over his head in the ninth inning by reliever Rhiner Cruz. Kinsler flew out to deep left field and when he got back to the dugout, slammed his helmet into a cubbie hole. Cruz then hit the next batter, Elvis Andrus, who promptly stole second. ... Josh Hamilton, who had a 16-game hitting streak snapped Thursday afternoon, began a new one with a single in the third.
Next: Rangers-Astros play Game 2 of the Silver Boot series at Minute Maid Park. Derek Holland takes on Lucas Harrell at 6:15 p.m.
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