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Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Possible playoff preview in Texas


The Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers play the third game of a four-game series in Arlington on ESPN2’s Wednesday Night Baseball.

In what could potentially be a playoff preview in the American League, the Rangers play host to the Red Sox, a team they have had recent success against at home. Since 2009, Texas is 11-3 against Boston at home and has won four of the five meetings overall this season between the two teams.

On the mound

Josh Beckett probably wishes this game was being played next week when the calendar flips to September. During his career, August has been Beckett’s worst month to pitch in. This is the only month he’s under .500 and his ERA is the highest of any month he’s pitched in.

And, not surprisingly, he’s really struggled to prevent runs this month, allowing 11 ER in four starts, including eight in his past two starts. While his strikeouts and walks are not different from the first three months, he’s been hurt by the longball, giving up six HR in 24 innings after allowing nine HR in his first 133 innings.

Matt Harrison takes the mound for Texas. Harrison limited Boston to one run in 7 innings in his previous start against them this season, this after allowing seven ER in 6 innings in three games against the Red Sox in 2010.

For his career, Harrison has enjoyed pitching in August, prior to this year. He entered August with a 2.94 ERA, however, he’s struggled this month with a 5.16 ERA. He’s allowed more than three runs in three of his four starts this month, after doing that in just five of his first 20 starts.

Stat of the game

The Rangers are 4-1 against the Red Sox this year and 17-7 against them since 2009. That’s the best record by any team against the Red Sox in the past three years combined.