Walkers, Texas Rangers: Rangers-Yanks Gamer I

The Rangers pitching roster has given up 340 bases on balls this season, which is “good” for the most in the major leagues (4.1/9 IP) as is their 5.63 runs allowed per game. While their team pitching ERA is a bottom-barrel 4.89, the Texas offense absolutely rakes, having plated 456 runs to lead the majors with 5.49 runs scored per game. The boys from Arlington are also tops in the bigs in OPS+ on the shoulders of Ian Kinsler’s maturation into one of the most dangerous and talented second basemen in the game, Ramon Vazquez’ career-best performance so far, Josh Hamilton’s stirring comeback, and Milton Bradley’s absolute mashing.

Scott Feldman gets the start in the first meeting of the Rangers and Yankees on the season. The rangy Ranger righty, now in his fourth year, has recorded only one victory so far this year: a two-hit, no-run, six-inning performance May 9th against Oakland. In his ten other starts, he has taken the loss three times and recorded seven no decisions, five of which resulted in losses for Texas. However, his last two starts did result in wins for his team. Only Shawn Hill (12 starts) and Jay Bergmann (11 starts), both with the Nationals, can make the dubious claim of having made more than ten starts with only one win, and they each have lost five games. Feldman’s run support has been an anemic 3.54.

Mike Mussina takes the mound for the Yankees at the Stadium tonight. Last time out, Mussina went eight innings for the loss, giving up four runs in a relatively strong start marred by a mistake to Joey Vatto and a three-run fifth inning that could be at least partially blamed on a piece of bad fielding by Johnny Damon who dropped a hot-shot double from Encarnacion. However, it would have been tough to get around the wildly entertaining pitching of Edinson Volquez and the wildly awful strike zone of recently-chastised belly-bumper Brian Runge.

Today’s game will see the major-league debut of recent call-up Brett Gardner, who is leading off and in left field while Damon gets spelled, Jorge DHs, and Cano returns to second base after his day off yesterday.

Lineups follow, comment away.

Baseball-reference.com game preview

I. Kinsler 2b .323
M. Young ss .280
J. Hamilton rf .312
M. Bradley dh .323
D. Murphy lf .272
M. Byrd cf .252
C. Davis 1b .375
J. Saltalamacchia c .214
R. Vazquez 3b .326
S. Feldman 4.60
NY Yankees
B. Gardner lf .000
D. Jeter ss .284
B. Abreu rf .286
A. Rodriguez 3b .322
J. Giambi 1b .262
J. Posada dh .287
R. Cano 2b .244
M. Cabrera cf .246
J. Molina c .225
M. Mussina 3.93
34 comments… add one
  • Gardner getting called up is clearly the turning point of the season.

    Lar June 30, 2008, 4:30 pm
  • Not since Napolean has a man his size so completely changed the course of human events.

    yankees76 June 30, 2008, 6:08 pm
  • They’re throwing the kid right into the leadoff spot. Interesting.

    IronHorse (yf) June 30, 2008, 6:10 pm
  • He can handle leadoff in his ML debut. He’s “gritty.” ;)
    I’m actually looking forward to seeing him play, too.
    This may be the new philosophy, with these guys that are doing well in AAA, but not our most touted prospects, why baby them at the back of the BP/bottom of the lineup? Just throw Robertson out there during a Mets game at Shea on his first day in Pinstripes. Just throw Gardner into the leadoff role, and see how he handles it.

    yankees76 June 30, 2008, 6:14 pm
  • Prediction: Gardner walks in his first plate appearance, receives standing ovation.

    Paul SF June 30, 2008, 6:15 pm
  • If he walks, do they have to stop the game and have him change his shoes, to preserve them for the kid’s first BB?

    yankees76 June 30, 2008, 6:17 pm
  • Actually, further prediction Paul: if he walks his first AB, he will take second by the third pitch of Jeter’s AB.

    yankees76 June 30, 2008, 6:18 pm
  • I thought they were going to call up Gardner to bench Melky. Damon must be hurting still.

    A YF June 30, 2008, 6:22 pm
  • Any SF want to take a $20 bet that Gardner outproduces (in terms of OPS+) Ellsbury by year end? :)

    A YF June 30, 2008, 6:27 pm
  • > he will take second by the third pitch of Jeter’s AB
    That’s a safe bet. Saltalamacchia has had 28 runners swipe on him while catching 5.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 6:29 pm
  • Wow. No hits through three but three walks. Gotta figure this guy out.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:14 pm
  • Now Moose walks Murphy to lead of the fourth.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:14 pm
  • Moose Ks Saltaladon’twannatypeanymore.
    That’s six!

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:21 pm
  • Vazquez flies out to Melky to end the Rangers fourth. Texas 2, Yankees zilch.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:23 pm
  • Whadda bomb by Alex. Out into the monuments and bouncing into the stands. He ties Jimmie Foxx on the all time list at 534 dings.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:32 pm
  • Giambi has a couple of good cuts and goes down on a sharp grounder to Davis; nice snag.
    Jroge hits a double over Byrd’s head to the wall in left center, but Cano grounds out 6-3 to end the fourth inning.
    Rangers 2, Yankees 1.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:33 pm
  • Kinsler tattoos a line drive to left but right at Gardner.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:36 pm
  • The homer by ARod was a first-pitch, hanging curve; he was all over. Just CRUSHED it.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:38 pm
  • Michael Young doubles to the RF corner.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:39 pm
  • One out, Young in scoring position as the big meat is coming with Hamilton at the plate and Bradley on deck.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:40 pm
  • Hamilton pops out to shallow left center. It’s a high fly; Gardner pulls off at the last minute almost forgetting that it is Melky’s ball

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:41 pm
  • Bradley up, two down. Fouls the first pitch off the moon. Takes away. The 1 and 1 is a FB on the inside corner for a strike. Great pitch. 1 and 2, outside corner taken for strike three. Really good pitch. Maybe just a bit outside, but painted. Bradley is PISSED, PISSED PISSED. Shouting at the ump as he walks away. That really should be an ejection.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:43 pm
  • Melky takes a strike on the outside corner leading off the Yankee fifth, then takes a ball in the dirt. The 1 and 1 is outside; Melky swings and fouls it of. The 1-2 is pulled foul up first. Now Melky with a high pop out to the infield. One away.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:47 pm
  • Molina hits a soft grounder up the middle. Young makes a very nice grab sliding behind second on the apron but can’t get a clean transfer and holds on; infield single.
    Gardner grounds to Young who flips to Kinsler; Molina forced at second, and Gardner’s speed makes it a bang-bang play at first. He’s called safe on the FC; looked like a legit tie at the bag. Jeter up with two down.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:51 pm
  • Jeter takes strike one. Then a throw to first. Pitchout on the 0-1 as Gardner is on the move; Saltalaalphabet throws it into center as Gardner swipes his first base in the majors.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:52 pm
  • Jeter with a weak 6-3 ends the Yankee fifth.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 8:53 pm
  • Veras just escaped 0 outs and man on 3rd with two line drives (at jeter and at A-Rod) and with the 4th K of Milton “anger management” Bradley, on which Bradley lost the bat not once but twice and looked truly foolish.
    But the Hi/lowlight of the inning was Veras throwing a fastball when Molina was expecting a curveball and it hit Molina s-q-u-a-r-e-l-y in the crotch. It looked hideous and Molina rolled around for quite a while…

    IronHorse (yf) June 30, 2008, 9:47 pm
  • Sure, pinch hit the guy with a bum wheel in a 1-run game.
    I like Girardi but he’s got some of that veteran love.

    A YF June 30, 2008, 9:53 pm
  • A YF, Damon is one of the top hitters in the league right now (# 6 or 7 I believe). I have no problem with the move even though it didn’t work out.

    IronHorse (yf) June 30, 2008, 9:55 pm
  • Sterling gets waaaaaaay too depressed and then excited when the Yanks lose. Could someone bury him under the new stadium?

    A YF June 30, 2008, 10:13 pm
  • Well Mussina can’t buy that 11th win. He starts out well in a game that the offense is mauling the ball and it gets rained out. He gives up 2 at home against a barely above .500 Texas team on a night when one of the two teams ahead of us in the division is sure to lose and the Yankee bats go to sleep on him.
    When Sidney and Darrell are the bottom of your rotation, you need to win the close games pitched by Joba, Moose, or Andy. Oh well. At least no one got hit in the…oh yeah…forget it.

    IronHorse (yf) June 30, 2008, 10:28 pm
  • We are heading into July in third place, 6.5 games behind Tampa.
    *Now, saying it again to myself, slowly, allowing the comma full effect*
    We are heading into July in third place, 6.5 games behind Tampa.

    attackgerbil June 30, 2008, 11:10 pm
  • Just saw the replay of Gardner’s steal, that kid’s got some speed.

    Atheose July 1, 2008, 8:17 am
  • Yanks couldn’t buy a run. Bah.

    Lar July 1, 2008, 10:47 am

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