Texas Rangers: Phil Hughes

Matchup: Alexi Ogando vs. Phil Hughes

July, 23, 2013
7/23/13
1:25
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers return right-hander Alexi Ogando from the disabled list to face New York Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes at 7:05 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest, MLB Network and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.

PODCAST
Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzimmons and Durrett to discuss the Matt Garza trade and if the Rangers are done shopping before the deadline.

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Ogando (4-2, 2.93): Ogando pitches for the first time since June 5 in Boston; he landed on the 15-day disabled list the next day with right-shoulder inflammation ... Ogando allowed a run and three hits in 5 2/3 innings in a game the Rangers ultimately lost 3-1 ... It was Ogando's first start since spending the previous month on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis ... Overall, Ogando has made 11 starts, and when he's been able to pitch, he's been good; opponents are batting .227 against him ... Ogando's one negative stat is that he has 43 strikeouts to 22 walks as he's struggled to keep his fastball velocity up ... He was at 94-95 mph in his recent rehab start for Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday ... He threw 80 pitches and allowed two runs in seven innings ... Ogando has pitched seven or more innings just once in 10 starts (on April 24 at the Angels).

Hughes (4-9, 4.57): Hughes' big hiccup this season has been the home run ball; he has allowed 18 home runs in 102 1/3 innings ... Hughes allowed four runs in 7 1/3 innings in his previous start July 13 against Minnesota ... He matched a career-high with 10 strikeouts but allowed three home runs to the Twins ... Hughes has pitched his best this season on the road: 3-2 record, 3.38 ERA and six home runs in 48 innings (he doubled his road HR total in Minnesota) ... Hughes has struggled against lefties, allowing a .293 batting average and 12 home runs in 225 at-bats ... Hughes was a hard-luck loser in New York on June 27 when he was outdueled by Rangers starter Derek Holland ... Hughes allowed two runs in eight innings, including a home run to Jurickson Profar in a 2-0 loss ... Hughes has pitched well against the Rangers with a 2-2 record and a 2.08 ERA ... He is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Hitters: Current Rangers are batting .173 with two home runs against Hughes, the other by Adrian Beltre, who is 3-for-18 lifetime against Hughes. The Yankees' best hitters against Ogando are hurt. Eduardo Nunez is 2-for-2 against him with an RBI.

Engel Beltre has memorable first start

June, 27, 2013
6/27/13
5:09
PM CT
NEW YORK -- Engel Beltre always hoped to make it to Yankee Stadium one day and get the chance to roam the outfield not far from where he grew up and played high school baseball.

"I always wanted to start here," Beltre said.

Beltre's wish was granted as he made his first career start Thursday in front of family and friends in the Rangers' 2-0 win over the Yankees. Beltre, who moved to the Bronx as a youngster and played for local high schools James Monroe and Dewitt Clinton, went 2-for-3, recording his first career hit in front of 10-15 family members.

"I think (this) days means a lot to me," Beltre said. "I'm so proud they gave me the opportunity, and (I was able to) take advantage of it. I think that the Rangers, whenever they can give me the opportunity, (I'm) trying to help the team and whenever I can, get on base."

The Rangers called up Beltre on Sunday and he made his debut Wednesday night as a pinch runner. On Thursday, he singled off Phil Hughes in the third inning in his first career at-bat, helping set up what would be Texas' first run of the game. He later added an infield single off Hughes in the eighth inning.

"I've been waiting for that moment a lot," Beltre said of his first career hit. "Playing in the minor leagues and working and preparing for this moment."

Profar blast: Making his first start in a week, Jurickson Profar went 1-for-2 with a homer and a walk. His solo shot in the fifth gave Texas a 2-0 lead, and it was his first homer since June 2.

Profar, who entered this year ranked as the top prospect in baseball, last started on June 20, but he has been on the bench since as the club teaches him to play outfield. The Rangers currently have a numbers crunch in the infield with Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus manning second base and shortstop, respectively.

Profar said it wasn't difficult for him to stay focused despite having just three at-bats the past week.

"Not at all," Profar said. "I took those days to work hard. Things that weren't feeling good the last couple of weeks, I really took those days to work."

Murphy confusion: David Murphy learned a lesson the hard way on Thursday: never veer off the bag.

Standing at first with Profar facing a full count in the third inning, Murphy took off on the pitch. Profar checked his swing. While it was ruled that Profar had held up and earned a walk, the Yankees and Murphy operated as if it was a strikeout.

Yankees catcher Austin Romine threw to second and Jayson Nix applied the tag to Murphy, who slid into the base. Murphy was safe due to the walk, but Murphy believed Profar had struck out and thought he just been caught stealing. After being tagged, he left the bag, and when he realized what had happened and tried to retreat, Nix reapplied the tag for the out.

"Just glad it happened in a game we won," Murphy said. "Obviously, I'll know (in the future). You make a mistake one time and just make the adjustment next time because you've seen it before and you know how to react if you see it again."

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 2, Yankees 0

June, 27, 2013
6/27/13
2:36
PM CT


NEW YORK -- Derek Holland finally conquered New York.

Holland defeated the Yankees for the first time in the regular season as he threw a complete-game shutout in the Rangers' 2-0 win over the Yankees on Thursday at Yankee Stadium. Holland held the punchless Yankees lineup to just two hits, and the Rangers needed an effort like that after collecting just six hits of their own.

First-time winner: Holland entered the game 0-5 with an 8.85 ERA in his career against the Yankees and 0-3 with an 8.06 ERA at Yankee Stadium. He did own a postseason victory over the Yankees, picking up the win in relief in 2010, but otherwise he's been terrible against the Bronx Bombers. These Yankees, though, resemble anything but Bronx Bombers and Holland made easy work of them. He yielded just two hits, coming in the first and third, and improved to 6-4.

Profar homers: Starting for the first time in a week, Jurickson Profar went 1-for-2 with a home run and a walk. His homer in the fifth put Texas ahead 2-0. The Rangers are teaching Profar how to play the outfield in hopes of utilizing his bat in the lineup as much as possible, but he isn't quite ready yet. Until then, they have to choose their spots. When Profar plays like he did Thursday, it makes it that much more difficult for the Rangers to keep him on the bench.

Odd out: David Murphy had an odd play at second base in the third inning that resulted in an out. With Profar batting and the count full, Profar checked his swing as Murphy took off for second. The throw beat Murphy to the bag, so after being tagged, Murphy veered off the bag believing Profar had struck out. Profar, however, had successfully checked his swing, meaning he'd walked, and Murphy was awarded second base because of the force. Murphy, a few feet from the bag, then was tagged by Jayson Nix for the out. Ron Washington came out briefly to chat but there wasn't much to argue. Texas did score that frame to go up 1-0.

First hit: Engel Beltre made his first career start Thursday and singled in his first career at-bat. He went 2-for-3 with two singles. Beltre, who played high school ball in the Bronx, grew up a Yankees fan and said he had 10-15 family members in attendance. He debuted Wednesday night as a pinch runner.

Up next: The Rangers will head home to begin a three-game set against Cincinnati on Friday. Martin Perez (1-1, 3.65 ERA) will oppose Johnny Cueto (4-1, 3.21) at 7:05 p.m. CT.

Matchup: Derek Holland vs. Phil Hughes

June, 27, 2013
6/27/13
10:30
AM CT
NEW YORK -- The Texas Rangers will send Derek Holland to the mound for Thursday's matinee as they try to win their series against the New York Yankees. He will be opposed by Phil Hughes at 12:05 p.m. CT.

Holland (5-4, 3.43 ERA): Holland is 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA in his last three starts. … Gave up four runs in seven innings last time out against the St. Louis Cardinals. Gave up all four runs in the first two frames. ... Has struggled at Yankee Stadium, as he's 0-3 with an 8.06 ERA in five games (four starts) in the Bronx. ... Will pitch on five days rest and he's 4-0 with a 2.55 ERA in eight starts on at least five days of rest this year. ... Is winless in his last four starts.

Hughes (3-6, 5.09 ERA): Hughes gave up five runs and 10 hits in six innings during his last outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers. … Is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in his career against the Rangers, although all the starts have come in Texas. ... Surrendered four runs and five hits in 2T innings during his last outing against Texas, on April 25, 2012. ... Has allowed at least five runs in five starts this year.

Hitters: Robinson Cano has hit Holland well, batting .350 with one homer and five RBIs in 20 career at-bats. Vernon Wells is just 4-for-21 against Holland. Mitch Moreland is 3-for-4 against Hughes, while Adrian Beltre is only 3-for-17.

Matchup: Scott Feldman vs. Phil Hughes

April, 25, 2012
4/25/12
1:07
PM CT

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Scott Feldman comes out of the bullpen to make a spot start against the struggling Phil Hughes to close out the series. After Wednesday's finale, the Rangers don't play the Yankees again until August. The game starts at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW. Here's a look at the matchup:

PODCAST
Rangers manager Ron Washington talks to ESPN 103.3 FM's Ben & Skin about Yu Darvish's start and discusses the areas where his team needs to improve.

Listen Listen
Scott Feldman (0-0, 0.00 ERA): Friday's rainout opened up a spot for the long reliever's first start of the season. ... Feldman has two appearances this season, giving up just one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. ... Feldman was the Opening Day starter in 2010 but was relegated to the bullpen after going 7-11 that year. He is 2-2 against New York as a starter with a 3.80 ERA.

Phil Hughes (1-2, 6.75 ERA): The 25-year-old is trying to turn things around after a rough start to his 2012 campaign. ... Opposing batters are hitting .317 against him through three starts. ... Arlington might be a welcome place for the righty. The Rangers are scoreless in 15 1/3 innings against Hughes at home.

Hitters: The Rangers are batting an abysmal .133 against Hughes. Mike Napoli is 3-for-6 with a home run in his career. The rest of the Rangers' lineup is 3-for-39 against Hughes. ... Adrian Beltre is 1-for-14 with five strikeouts. ... Curtis Granderson has dominated Feldman, going 5-for-8 with three home runs and six RBIs. ... Eight of the Yankees' 24 hits against Feldman have been home runs.

Up next:

Friday vs. Tampa Bay: LHP Matt Harrison (3-0, 1.66 ERA) vs. RHP James Shields (3-0, 2.76 ERA), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/TXA-21

Saturday vs. Tampa Bay: RHP Neftali Feliz (1-1, 2.70 ERA) vs. RHP Jeff Niemann (1-2, 4.11 ERA), 7:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM*/FSSW

Sunday vs. Tampa Bay: RHP Colby Lewis (2-0, 2.03 ERA) vs. LHP David Price (2-1, 4.20 ERA), 7:00 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM*/ESPN

*Radio broadcast will be on KSKY 660 AM if there is a time conflict with a Mavericks playoff game

Long path leads Colby Lewis to Series

October, 23, 2010
10/23/10
1:13
AM CT
video

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Colby Lewis' twisted and too often tormented path in and out of the big leagues and back again is practically unfathomable. On Friday night, with red, white and blue confetti raining down on the American League champion Texas Rangers, Lewis stood on the mound he had just conquered, hugging his biggest fan, his older brother, who most certainly understood.

Jack Lewis watched in awe Friday night as Colby pitched the game of his life on the grandest stage of a meandering career that had plunked him in Hiroshima the past two years. The near-look-a-like siblings squeezed one another as though they planned to never let go.

"For 25 years I've been watching this boy go through his ups and downs," Jack said. "He came out tonight, took the ball, took it in his hands and he was going to finish the job and he did. He told me this morning he's going to handle business, and he did."

Colby Lewis shut down the Bronx Bombers on three hits over eight innings, including four hitless innings to open the game. Lewis delivered the Rangers a 6-1 victory that vaulted the franchise into its first World Series after 38 years of futility in North Texas.

The lone run the defending champions could muster came on a bad call, a wild pitch in the fifth that actually wasn't. Replays showed the curve ball in the dirt skipped up and actually hit Nick Swisher in the shin and ricocheted to the backstop. The proper call would have sent Swisher to first and Alex Rodriguez back to third.

“I thought that curve ball hit Swisher, too,” Lewis said. “But, whatever.”

It didn’t matter. Lewis didn’t rattle. Even after the wild pitch that scored Rodriguez and then the next batter, Jorge Posada’s hard-luck double that hit first base and shot up over the glove of diving first baseman Mitch Moreland.

“I just told myself I have to stay after them and get another quick out,” Lewis said.

Colby Lewis
Stephen Dunn/Getty ImagesColby Lewis was calm and collected in eliminating the defending champion Yankees.
He came right back and struck out Marcus Thames on another nasty slider to end the fifth.

"I saw it from the bullpen [before the game]. His eyes," catcher Bengie Molina said. "His eyes were total focused on the game. He did awesome."

Lewis pitched calmly and in control throughout, lasting longer than he had in his previous two postseason starts, including his Game 2 ALCS win in which he went 5 2/3. He said he came to Rangers Ballpark relaxed even though he woke up feeling nervous. So Lewis took his 3-year-old son Cade to his favorite place.

“I took my son over to Bass Pro Shop,” Lewis said. “We just kind of hung out and walked around. He loves going to that place. I don’t know, it was just a real relaxed atmosphere. I took him home, he took a nap and I came to the park. It just felt really relaxed and comfortable.”

It showed. Lewis got stronger as the game progressed. Four of his seven strikeouts came in his final two innings. He fanned the side in the eighth, ending his day by fooling perennial All-Star Derek Jeter into a check-swing strikeout.

"He should feel like the king of the world in my mind," Jack Lewis said. "I mean he's been through adversity. Who would have thought? He went to Japan, got his career back together; we never thought he'd come home. He had to take his family over there, didn't know how to speak the language or anything. And here we are going to the World Series as the winning pitcher against the big, bad Yankees. Colby took care of business."

He had help along the way. Elvis Andrus robbed Rodriguez of a base hit to start the second. Ian Kinsler snared a Robinson Cano rocket on one hop and turned an inning-ending double play after one of Lewis’ three walks. And, Lewis got the run support he so sorely lacked during much of the season.

Andrus scored in the first, and in the fifth, after the Yankees tied it at 1-1 in the top half, Vladimir Guerrero finally came through with a monster, two-out double to center after Josh Hamilton was intentionally walked for the second time in three at-bats. That sent Lewis’ counterpart, Phil Hughes to the shower. Then Nelson Cruz greeted reliever Dave Robertson with a rope over the center-field wall for a commanding 5-1 lead.

“Just his character to be able to come back here and put himself in that position is incredible,” Kinsler said. “Colby has worked his tail off to get where he’s at. And tonight, he threw an unbelievable game for us.”

Over the next three innings, Lewis faced just 11 batters, allowing a two-out triple to Lance Berkman in the seventh and a two-out walk in the eighth.

“I felt like I commanded the slider and I said, ‘I’m just going to start ripping on it and see what happens,'" Lewis said. "And the curve ball was still there and it was a lot of fun.”

Especially in the eighth inning when the crowd of 51,404 started chanting his name. The Rangers’ first-round pick in 1999 said he had to step off the mound to soak in the moment and refocus on the task at hand. Then he struck out Jeter and headed to the dugout.

That’s when it hit him: Three more outs and the Rangers are headed to the World Series, and, yes, he was back. Back from all those years bouncing around the big leagues, the multiple minor-league stints and the shoulder injuries.

And, of course, those two wonderful years in Japan that convinced the Rangers to bring him back.

"After the eighth, I was walking off and I kind of just thought of the situation I was in, to have this opportunity,” Lewis said. “It was just a great feeling.”

Nelson Cruz got Vlad Guerrero mad in 5th

October, 22, 2010
10/22/10
11:34
PM CT

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The second time the New York Yankees decided to intentionally walk Josh Hamilton in the fifth inning to face cleanup hitter Vladimir Guerrero instead, Nelson Cruz, who bats behind Guerrero in the order, had a message for his friend.

"In that moment, I went to him and said, 'Don't let them do that to you. Don't let them do it,'" Nelson said. "He come through like he comes through all year long."

The Yankees had just tied the score at 1-1 on a controversial run. In the bottom of the inning, the Yankees decided to put Hamilton on first with Michael Young on second and two out. Guerrero, who bounced into a fielder's choice to score a run after Hamilton's single in the first, crushed Phil Hughes' second pitch, a fast ball, deep to center field to score both runners for a 3-1 lead.

Those two RBIs, plus the one he collected in the first, tripled Guerrero's run production in the previous 10 playoff games.

"Good for him to come through with that big hit," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "That was signature Vlad Guerrero."

Cruz said watching Guerrero's shot from the on-deck circle fired him up.

"That woke me up, too," Nelson said. "It got me emotional, too."

Then Cruz did Guerrero one better, taking reliever Dave Robertson out of the park on a line drive to center field to bring Guerrero home and open up a 5-1 lead on the defending champions.

"I was flying," Cruz said of his trip around the bases. "I don't think I was putting my feet into the ground."

Colby Lewis near-perfect, but Yanks close

October, 22, 2010
10/22/10
8:28
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Colby Lewis has faced the minimum 12 batters through four innings. His only blemish is two walks, both to Curtis Granderson. But, in the first Granderson was caught stealing to end the inning, and in the fourth, second baseman Ian Kinsler snared Robinson Cano's one-hopper for an inning-ending double play.

Elvis Andrus also flashed the leather, robbing Alex Rodriguez of a lead-off hit in the second inning.

The Rangers, though, have not been able to score on Hughes since Andrus came around in the first despite having runners on in the third and fourth innings. Andrus was stranded at third in the third after the Yankees intentionally walked Josh Hamilton to get to Vladimir Guerrero in the cleanup spot.

Guerrero, who has one RBI in the postseason, popped out to second. In the fourth, David Murphy and Bengie Molina struck out swinging.

Elvis Andrus hit parade puts Rangers up 1-0

October, 22, 2010
10/22/10
7:35
PM CT
ARLINGTON -- Elvis Andrus' lead-off double, giving him a hit in all 11 postseason games, set up the Texas Rangers' first-inning run as they took a 1-0 lead over Phil Hughes and the New York Yankees.

Andrus doubled sharply to the left-center field gap. Michael Young then worked Hughes for seven pitches, but struck out swinging. Josh Hamilton singled sharply to left, but Brett Gardner was playing shallow and prevented Andrus from coming home.

That brought up Vladimir Guerrero. In a nice bit of hitting, he took Hughes to the right side for a fielder's choice, bringing home Andrus for the early lead. Nelson Cruz flied out to right to end the first inning.

Yankees Game 6 lineup: lefty heavy

October, 22, 2010
10/22/10
3:51
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Between their switch-hitters and natural lefties, the New York Yankees throw six left-handed hitters at Texas Rangers righty Colby Lewis. Of course, of those big lefty sticks won't be in the lineup. First baseman Mark Teixeira is out for the remainder of the postseason with a hamstring strain.

Here's the Yankees Game 6 lineup:

SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson (L)
2B Robinson Cano (L)
3B Alex Rodriguez
1B Lance Berkman (S)
RF Nick Swisher (S)
C Jorge Posada (S)
DH Marcus Thames
LF Brett Gardner (L)
P Phil Hughes

If rain takes Game 6, Cliff Lee moves up?

October, 22, 2010
10/22/10
3:21
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The latest forecast calls for a 30 percent chance for rain during tonight's Game 6 of the ALCS between the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees. While storms are expected mostly to stay north of Rangers Ballpark, there is a chance nonetheless.

If that rain comes and forces the game to be postponed until Saturday -- when there's actually a greater chance of rain -- manager Ron Washington would skip Lewis and turn to ace Cliff Lee.

"I haven't talked to anybody about it," Washington said, trying not to smile. "But, it could possibly happen."

Haven't talked to anybody? Would there really be a reason to talk to anyone about starting going right to Lee on regular rest if Game 6 is postponed?

"I guess there wouldn't be if that happened," Washington said, now laughing.

The greater issue might be how a rain delay would affect Rangers starter Colby Lewis, who goes against Yankees righty Phil Hughes. Washington said that lefty Derek Holland and righty Tommy Hunter are prepared to work middle or long relief.

Washington said Game 5 loser C.J. Wilson will also be availabe in the bullpen tonight.

Matchup: Pitching deep in Game 6

October, 22, 2010
10/22/10
12:30
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Colby Lewis and Phil Hughes take the mound for tonight's Game 6 and both will be focused on getting ahead of hitters and pitching efficiently.

These two opposed each other in Game 2, with Lewis coming out with the win after going 5 2/3 innings and allowing two runs. He'd like to pitch even deeper in the game tonight. Hughes gave up seven runs in just four innings as the Ranger hitters were dialed in. That was unusual for Hughes, who had a sterling mark at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington before that outing.

Both want to give their teams more innings, coming closer to finishing what they start. Here are a few things to keep an eye on when it comes to the mound:

* Hughes struggled getting batters out with two strikes in Game 2 of the ALCS. Rangers batters hit .455, slugged .909, and had four extra base hits with two strikes, all season worsts for Hughes.

* Dating back to September 21st, opposing batters have just six hits in 53 at-bats against off speed pitches from Colby Lewis (.113).

What to watch in ALCS Game 6

October, 22, 2010
10/22/10
7:48
AM CT

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers are looking to punch their ticket to the World Series tonight while the Yankees hope to extend the series to a winner-take-all Game 7 on Saturday. Here are a few things to watch in tonight's game:

* Colby Lewis. He gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings in Game 2, getting an important win for the Rangers after they had let Game 1 slip away in the eighth inning. It was an important bounce-back outing for Lewis, who had five walks in just five innings in a Game 3 loss to Tampa in the ALDS. That game, like this one tonight, was a clinching opportunity for the Rangers. We'll see if Lewis is up to the challenge.

* Phil Hughes. Coming into Game 2, the talk was about Hughes' scoreless streak at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. But he looked anything but comfortable, giving up seven runs on 10 hits with three walks and three strikeouts in four innings. If the Yankees are to have any chance of extending their postseason stay, Hughes must get off to a good start.

* Early runs. We talk about this every game in the postseason with the Rangers, but there's a reason for that. Texas has scored the game's first run in eight of their 10 postseason games. They didn't do it in Game 5 and that seemed to energize the Yankees and their fans. Likewise, some early runs off Hughes would keep the Rangers' faithful fully engaged. The runs could also allow Lewis to get more aggressive in the strike zone.

* Hamstring. How does Nelson Cruz's left hamstring hold up tonight? He says he's ready to go, but two of his three DL stints in 2010 were because of the left hamstring. Watch how effective he is and if it impacts him tonight.

* Elvis Andrus. He's hitting .364 in this ALCS (and .348 in the postseason) with four stolen bases. Andrus is sometimes too aggressive, but he can make things happen when he gets on base. As powerful as the Rangers lineup is, many times it's executing the hit and run or sacrifice fly or a stolen base to get a runner into scoring position that really gets the offense going. Speed on the bases can make a difference tonight.

* Derek Holland. He's pitched 5 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball in this series and could be needed to bridge the gap to the back end of the bullpen. After giving up a two-run homer to Evan Longoria in Game 4 of the ALDS, Holland has really settled down and pitched well. He's got confidence and the Rangers won't hesitate to use him if needed.

* Defense. It let the Rangers down in Game 5 (see the second inning). Texas takes pride in making throws from the outfield to the proper base, backing throws up and being smart. The team didn't do that consistently in Game 5. Watch that tonight. It could be critical in a close game.

* Michael Young. The team leader has really come to play in this ALCS after struggling in the ALDS (.150 batting average). Young is hitting .348 with four RBIs and two doubles. He's had good, long at-bats and has helped lead by example for the rest of the lineup. Big games are a stage for big players. Look for him tonight.

* MVP candidates. Look for New York's Robinson Cano and Texas' Josh Hamilton to make their marks at some point tonight. Both players, who have led their teams offensively in 2010, have had solid ALCS showings. Hamilton is hitting .316 with four homers and seven RBIs. Cano is batting .421 with four homers and five RBIs.

* Neftali Feliz. I keep bringing his name up because at some point he's going to have to come in and close out a tight game. Could that be tonight? He was able to get outs in Game 3, though it was a large Rangers lead by then. He'll need to keep his nerves in check when he gets out there in a close game.

* Crowd. The should be the loudest crowd in the history of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. It's important that the 50,000-plus stay loud throughout the game.

David Murphy or Julio Borbon?

October, 19, 2010
10/19/10
12:02
PM CT
NEW YORK -- Before the ALCS started, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said he wanted to get Julio Borbon into the starting lineup and that Game 4 would be the appropriate time against struggling New York Yankees starter A.J. Burnett.

But, Washington hasn't made that official yet. He's mulling whether to go back to David Murphy, who homered and doubled in Game 2. Murphy sat in Game 3 against Yankees lefty Andy Pettitte in favor of the right-hand-hitting Jeff Francoeur.

Borbon, the fleet-footed outfielder, is hitless in seven at-bats in the postseason. He pinch-hit in the bottom of the eighth in Game 1 and struck out against Yankees reliever Kerry Wood. Borbon played in 137 games this season, his first full season in the majors and hit .276. He batted .284 against righties and .280 with runners in scoring position.

"It's something that I'm taking one day at a time. From the time the series started I know they had a couple righties in there with Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett. I know I had a pretty good chance of getting some playing time," Borbon said. "I'm going to come ready to play. My mentality doesn't change whether I'm starting or not. I just try to show up to the field as if I was starting and then once it turns out I'm not, things ease off a little until the game gets going again, and then I'm ready to go at any point they need me."

It might be difficult for Washington to sit Murphy against the right-handed Burnett. Murphy's hitting .250 in the postseason, but he's had good at-bats and is obviously coming off the big game against Hughes. Murphy came back from a left groin strain in Game 3 of the ALDS. It hasn't appeared to affect him much in the field or at the plate.

"I knew running was going to be challenge and once I kind of got over that hump after I played in the first two postseason games, Games 3 and 4 of the ALDS, it got exponentially better day to day from there," Murphy said. "I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent, but I’m pretty close."

Random ALCS notes from this weekend

October, 17, 2010
10/17/10
9:30
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A special thanks to ESPN Stats & Information for providing these facts and figures. Check it out:

* If you take away the eighth inning of Game 1, the Rangers have dominated in most statistical categories:

Rangers (excluding 8th inning Game 1): .302, 12 runs, 1.59 ERA, 9 extra base hits

Yankees (excluding 8th inning Game 1): .197, 3 runs, 6.35 ERA, 5 extra base hits

* After Friday's 3-hour, 50-minute affair, the Yankees and Rangers went 3:52 on Saturday. Although there are only a handful of games, the two ALCS teams have averaged the longest times among this season's postseason participants, while the two NLCS teams have been the two shortest.

* Comparing the two starters for both teams:

Yankees: CC Sabathia - Acquired via free agency; signed 7-year, $161M deal on Dec. 11, 2008, Phil Hughes - Acquired via draft; selected in 1st round (23rd overall) of 2004 MLB Draft. Total 2010 salary: $23.45M, 2010 ALCS: 8 IP, 12 ER, 6 K, 7 BB (13.50 ERA).

Rangers: C.J. Wilson - Acquired via draft; selected in 5th round of 2001 MLB Draft; converted from relief prior to 2010 season, Colby Lewis - Acquired via free agency; signed 2-year, $5M deal from Japan on January 19, 2010. Total 2010 salary: $4.85M, 2010 ALCS: 12 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 10 K, 5 BB (3.55 ERA).

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
10 3.06 182 144
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .325
HRA. Beltre 17
RBIA. Beltre 67
RA. Beltre 66
OPSA. Beltre .876
ERAY. Darvish 3.06
SOY. Darvish 182