Monday, August 13, 2012
Dempster hopes control ends Bronx blues
By By John Fisher & Jason Starrett, ESPN Stats & Information
John E. Sokolowski/US Presswire
The Yankees have won five straight games against the Rangers at Yankee Stadium.
The Texas Rangers head to the Bronx on Monday to take on fellow World Series hopefuls, the New York Yankees (ESPN 2, 7 ET). This will mark the Rangers’ first trip to Yankee Stadium in 2012 and the Yankees hope to continue their recent run of home success against the two-time defending American League champions.
The Yankees have gone 8-1 against the Rangers at home over the last three seasons including wins in each of their last five meetings. Their .889 home win percentage against Texas since 2010 is the Yankees’ highest against any opponent they have faced at least four times over that span.
A win Monday would give the Yankees just their second home win streak of at least six games against the Rangers over the last 25 seasons and first since they won eight straight from 1994-96.
Ryan Dempster hopes to turn the tide for Texas in his third start with the Rangers since being acquired July 31. Dempster allowed no earned runs over 6.2 innings against the Red Sox in his most recent start after allowing a season-high eight earned runs against the Angels in his Rangers debut.
One big difference between the outings for Dempster was his control. Against the Red Sox on Aug. 7, Dempster threw first-pitch strikes to 63 percent of the batters he faced and 51 percent of his pitches were in the strike zone overall. He threw first-pitch strikes to 48 percent of Angels hitters Aug. 2 with only 36 percent of his total pitches in the zone.
In the other dugout, Robinson Cano hit his 25th home run of the season on Sunday against the Blue Jays. It marked the fourth consecutive season that he has hit at least 25 homers, tied for the second-longest streak among second basemen in MLB history. Only Dan Uggla has a longer such streak all-time (6, 2006-11). The homer also gave Cano his fourth-career season with at least 25 homers and 30 doubles, tied for third all-time among second basemen.
Another middle infielder posting impressive numbers at the plate is Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus. Andrus is leading the American league with a .331 batting average in the seventh inning or later this season including a .394 average in those situations with runners in scoring position (4th in AL).
Overall, he’s batting .345 with runners on base at any point in the game, third in the league, and more success may be expected on Monday night. Andrus has hit safely in seven of his last eight games against the Yankees and is batting a team-best .344 over that span.