Feldman's curve may help end Rangers' skid

August, 15, 2012
8/15/12
1:28
PM ET

Jim Cowsert-US PresswireJosh Hamilton is batting .302 with five home runs and 15 RBIs during August.
The Texas Rangers and New York Yankees will meet on Wednesday in the third game of their four-game series in the Bronx (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). The Yankees, winners of seven straight home games against the Rangers, are looking to match their franchise high for consecutive wins versus Texas at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees have won eight straight home games against the Rangers twice previously: once during a stretch spanning the 1961-62 seasons (when the Rangers were the Washington Senators) and most recently from 1994-96. Coincidently, the Yankees went on to win the World Series in both seasons in which those streaks ended (1962 and 1996).

Freddy Garcia will take the mound for the Yankees, hoping to continue his own run of success against the Rangers.

In his past eight starts against Texas, Garcia is 4-1 with a 1.89 ERA, and collectively current Rangers are hitting .211 against him. Garcia has allowed three earned runs or fewer in seven of his eight starts overall since July 1.

On the other side of the diamond, Rangers starter Scott Feldman has gone 5-1 with a 3.38 ERA in his past seven starts after going 0-6 with a 7.14 ERA in seven starts to begin the season. During Feldman’s recent run, it has been his curveball that has led the way. Opponents hit .087 (2-23) on at-bats ending in the curve in the past seven starts, .333 in his first seven starts of the year.

Offensively for Texas, Josh Hamilton has enjoyed an August in which he already has knocked home more RBIs (15) than he did in all of July (11). In 13 games this month, Hamilton is hitting .302 with three home runs after batting .202 with eight home runs in 47 games during June and July.

One reason behind Hamilton’s resurgence has been his dominance against the fastball. Since July 30, he is hitting .368 against fastballs after posting a .185 batting average against heaters from June 1-July 29.

On the other side of the spectrum, teammate Michael Young continues to struggle. He has not hit a home run since May 7, and the span of 84 homerless games is the longest such streak of his career. He enters the game with a .343 slugging percentage, a percentage that would also be a career worst.

Derek Jeter
Jeter
For the Yankees, they seem to be collectively hitting their offensive stride, especially in clutch situations. Yankees batters are hitting an MLB-best .319 with runners in scoring position since June 23, including a .376 clip during August. Through June 22, they were hitting a league-worst .217 in those situations.

Derek Jeter enters Wednesday with a league-high 156 hits this season. If he maintains his lead, the Elias Sports Bureau tells us that he would become the third-oldest player to ever lead his league in hits and the oldest to do so since Paul Molitor in 1996.

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