Game 98 – Lats, bats and those Rangers cats

When you looked at a schedule for the coming season way back in March, you might have circled this series against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium III. You (nor I) never would have guessed the Rangers would have the worst record in the American League when they arrived in the Bronx. The Rangers have given up more earned runs as a pitching staff than any other American League team. This is like the Rick Helling Rangers much more than any of their teams in recent seasons.

Take tonight for example. The Rangers are starting Miles Mikolas who sounds more like a Tolkien elf than a big league pitcher. Mikolas has made three starts and has given up 24 hits in 14+ innings. He has great control, but has been getting cuffed around so far. But as the Yankees have shown this year, beware of mediocre pitchers!

The Yankees have their own question mark on the mound in Shane Greene. Sure, he has been terrific so far with a 1.32 ERA but a 3.65 FIP. Is he the next Chase Whitley or Mel Stottlemyre? Time will tell, my friend. Time will tell.

As you have been informed earlier today, Mark Teixeira has a balky lat muscle. I haven’t heard what caused it, but swinging at that high, 102 MPH fastball from Aroldis Chapman couldn’t have helped. He won’t be available today meaning the Yankees have to play with 24 players.

The Lineups:

Texas Rangers:

  1. Shin-Soo Choo RF
  2. Elvis Andrus – SS
  3. Adrian Beltre – 3B
  4. J.P. Arencibia – 1B
  5. Leonys Martin – CF
  6. Jake Smolinski – DH
  7. Jim Adduci – LF
  8. Geovany Soto – C
  9. Rougned Odor – 2B

SP – Miles Mikolas

New York Yankees

  1. Brett Gardner – LF
  2. Derek Jeter – SS
  3. Jacoby Ellsbury – CF
  4. Carlos Beltran – DH
  5. Kelly Johnson – !B
  6. Brian Roberts – 2B
  7. Ichiro Suzuki – RF
  8. Francisco Cervelli – C
  9. Zelous Wheeler – 3B

SP – Shane Greene

Arencibia batting cleanup!? Whuh? A lot of new names in the Rangers’ lineup. Not the A-lineup for the Yankees either. The game starts at 7:05. The game will be on The YES Network for you locals and on ESPN for us diaspora. Enjoy!

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.