|TEXAS ( OGANDO )|
CHICAGO CUBS ( VILLANUEVA )
|969||TEXAS||-125||Ov 10.5,-115||-135||Ov 10.5,-105|
|970||CHICAGO CUBS||+115||Un 10.5,-105||+125||Un 10.5,-115|
|vs Right-handed Starters||6-4||+0.7||3-5||4.3||0.255||0.311||3.4||0.227||0.286|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+0.4||0-6||3.0||0.231||0.302||2.3||0.212||0.258|
|vs Right-handed Starters||4-5||-0.3||5-4||4.3||0.241||0.293||4.9||0.244||0.322|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-2.8||4-3||4.4||0.257||0.312||5.3||0.275||0.349|
|4/5/2013||HOLLAND(L)||LA ANGELS||VARGAS(L)||3-2||W||-120||9.5 un||U||12||11||0||6||4||0|
|4/6/2013||HARRISON(L)||LA ANGELS||HANSON(R)||4-8||L||-130||10 un||O||9||5||1||12||9||0|
|4/7/2013||DARVISH(R)||LA ANGELS||WEAVER(R)||7-3||W||-135||8 ov||O||8||5||0||10||10||0|
|4/8/2013||OGANDO(R)||TAMPA BAY||HELLICKSON(R)||5-4||W||-150||9 un||P||8||5||1||7||8||1|
|4/9/2013||TEPESCH(R)||TAMPA BAY||HERNANDEZ(R)||6-1||W||-125||10.5 un||U||10||8||0||4||5||1|
|4/10/2013||HOLLAND(L)||TAMPA BAY||MOORE(L)||0-2||L||-120||8.5 un||U||5||10||1||6||7||0|
|4/11/2013||GRIMM(R)||@ SEATTLE||HERNANDEZ(R)||4-3||W||135||7 un||P||11||7||0||8||10||1|
|4/12/2013||DARVISH(R)||@ SEATTLE||IWAKUMA(R)||1-3||L||-145||6.5 un||U||6||7||0||7||5||0|
|4/13/2013||OGANDO(R)||@ SEATTLE||SAUNDERS(L)||3-1||W||-135||7 un||U||5||4||0||7||8||1|
|4/14/2013||TEPESCH(R)||@ SEATTLE||MAURER(R)||3-4||L||-130||8 un||U||6||7||1||10||8||0|
|4/16/2013||HOLLAND(L)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||WOOD(L)||4-2||W||-130||7.5 un||U||9||5||0||6||5||1|
|4/18/2013||OGANDO(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||VILLANUEVA(R)|| |
|4/22/2013||HOLLAND(L)||@ LA ANGELS||BLANTON(R)|| |
|4/23/2013||OGANDO(R)||@ LA ANGELS||VARGAS(L)|| |
|4/24/2013||DARVISH(R)||@ LA ANGELS||HANSON(R)|| |
|4/25/2013|| ||@ MINNESOTA|| || |
|4/4/2013||WOOD(L)||@ PITTSBURGH||MCDONALD(R)||3-2||W||135||7 ev||U||3||3||1||4||4||0|
|4/5/2013||FELDMAN(R)||@ ATLANTA||MINOR(L)||1-4||L||185||7.5 un||U||5||1||1||6||9||0|
|4/6/2013||VILLANUEVA(R)||@ ATLANTA||TEHERAN(R)||5-6||L||160||7.5 un||O||13||12||0||12||8||1|
|4/7/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||@ ATLANTA||HUDSON(R)||1-5||L||120||7 un||U||5||7||1||6||6||1|
|4/11/2013||FELDMAN(R)||SAN FRANCISCO||VOGELSONG(R)||6-7||L||+120||8 un||O||12||6||2||9||10||2|
|4/12/2013||VILLANUEVA(R)||SAN FRANCISCO||CAIN(R)||4-3||W||+130||9.5 ov||U||10||8||0||7||4||0|
|4/13/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||SAN FRANCISCO||BUMGARNER(L)||2-3||L||+105||8 ov||U||7||7||0||9||7||1|
|4/14/2013||JACKSON(R)||SAN FRANCISCO||LINCECUM(R)||7-10||L||+100||9.5 un||O||9||6||0||13||8||0|
|4/19/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||ESTRADA(R)|| |
|4/20/2013||JACKSON(R)||@ MILWAUKEE|| || |
|4/21/2013||FELDMAN(R)||@ MILWAUKEE||PERALTA(R)|| |
|4/22/2013||WOOD(L)||@ CINCINNATI||LEAKE(R)|| |
|4/23/2013||VILLANUEVA(R)||@ CINCINNATI|| || |
|4/24/2013||SAMARDZIJA(R)||@ CINCINNATI||LATOS(R)|| |
|4/25/2013|| ||@ MIAMI|| || |
|TEXAS: HITTING: 2B IAN KINSLER will lead off again. A few less at-'em balls and he's an MVP candidate. SS ELVIS ANDRUS is coming along offensively, but his poor SB% could lead to fewer attempts. Injuries are the only thing that will keep OF JOSH HAMILTON out of the MVP discussion. He'll likely start declining at age 35, but DH MICHAEL YOUNG can't help but put up numbers batting cleanup in this lineup. 3B ADRIAN BELTRE was unstoppable in Arlington. Like Hamilton, he's an MVP candidate if healthy. Injuries are piling up for OF NELSON CRUZ, who still has monster power but doesn't run as much anymore. C MIKE NAPOLI is MLB's best offensive catcher and will play some 1B on 'off' days. Because their lineup is stacked, Texas can play defensive-minded/offensively limited 1B MITCH MORELAND. And because Ron Washington would prefer to play Hamilton in left, speedy CF CRAIG GENTRY looks to have the edge over DAVID MURPHY for the starting job in center. Cuban import LEONYS MARTIN will start the season in Triple-A, but JULIO BORBON could earn a significant OF role. |
STARTING PITCHING: COLBY LEWIS can overpower when he's on, but as a flyball pitcher in cozy Arlington he's going to have a handful of ugly days. The much-ballyhooed YU DARVISH brings a deep arsenal of pitches and a durable frame from Japan. He's probably the best Japanese arm to ever cross the Pacific. Lefty MATT HARRISON solidified his rotation spot. He has topped out as a respectable No. 3-type starter. DEREK HOLLAND has top-of-the-rotation upside. Consistency has been an issue, but hopefully another year and some big postseason moments helped to cure that. The big story is NEFTALI FELIZ moving to the rotation. He was considered a future ace in the minors, but the transition might not be easy. His K/BB ratio plummeted last year and his flyball tendencies could spell disaster in Arlington. Keep in mind the Rangers made a successful closer-to-ace switch with C.J. Wilson. Top prospect MARTIN PEREZ could be an option in the second half.
RELIEF PITCHING: Veteran JOE NATHAN was brought in and handed the closer's job. He struggled in his first year back from Tommy John surgery, but most pitchers who've had the procedure don't come all the way back until their second full season. If Nathan falters, MIKE ADAMS could be next in line. He had no trouble transitioning from pitcher-friendly San Diego in the National League to hitter-friendly Arlington and the A.L.'s superior bats. KOJI UEHARA would also be in the closer discussion if Nathan falters, but he was unhappy about being traded from Baltimore and faltered for the Rangers late last year. ALEXI OGANDO got a huge boost from his defense and his bullpen before a late-season collapse. He threw by far a career-high in innings; better stamina would allow him to take the next step and possibly rejoin the rotation.
|CHICAGO CUBS: HITTING: 'Under New Management' is the motto in Wrigleyville, where Epstein, Hoyer, Sveum and Co. aim to turn SS STARLIN CASTRO and a bunch of straw into gold. OF DAVID DeJESUS was an underrated first pick-up. But OFs ALFONSO SORIANO and MARLON BYRD are overpaid and over the hill. C GEOVANY SOTO has lost his mojo. New 3B IAN STEWART has a lousy career OPS of .737 away from Coors Field. 1B BRYAN LaHAIR is tagged as part of a 'youth movement,' but he's almost 30. The other youths'2B DARWIN BARNEY, IF JEFF BAKER, and IF BLAKE DEWITT 'are interchangeable guys with low ceilings. Fourth OF TONY CAMPANA is fast but one-dimensional. And minor-league reinforcements are scarce. OF BRETT JACKSON is solid, but blocked in the lineup. And former uber-prospect 3B JOSH VITTERS has done nothing to justify his third-overall draft status. This rebuilding process will take time. Meanwhile, somewhere in the Chicago suburbs, Jim Hendry quietly sobs into a pile of Cubs-themed stuffed animals. |
STARTING PITCHING: RYAN DEMPSTER should bounce back from an unlucky year in which there was nearly a full-run difference between his ERA and his FIP. He's no ace in good times, but he's an underrated and dependable source of innings and strikeouts. MATT GARZA didn't disappoint in his debut season on the North Side, but he was an odd acquisition to begin with: the Cubs dealt top prospects from a thin system when all signs pointed to a belly-flop of a season. He's already trade bait again. JEFF SAMARDZIJA is moving to the rotation after a strong year in the bullpen (2.97 ERA, 87 K in 88 IP), but he needs to cut down on his walks (5.1 per 9 IP). What killed TRAVIS WOOD in 2011 was uncharacteristic wildness. His walk total spiked by over 50 percent from 2010. He's better than this, though it's hard to say how much. It could be that a 40-inning jump from 2010 to 2011 aided his freefall. Subpar newcomers PAUL MAHOLM and CHRIS VOLSTAD will also compete for rotation spots. The lefty Maholm is coming off his best season in Pittsburgh (3.66 ERA, 1.29 WHIP), but was awful after the All-Star break (0-5, 5.75 ERA, .355 Opp. BA). The 6-foot-8 Volstad was 5-13 with a 4.89 ERA for the Marlins last year, but still has time to figure things out at age 25.
RELIEF PITCHING: Because of his contract and the head-scratching faith in the 'closer mentality' that still pervades even the most enlightened front offices, CARLOS MARMOL will enter the 2012 campaign with a near-ironclad grip on ninth-inning duties for the Cubs. Trading away Sean Marshall, arguably Chicago's best reliever last season, is yet another vote of confidence for Marmol. His lack of command leads to more hittable pitches (along with tons of walks), though his ceiling for strikeouts and saves is sky-high. KERRY WOOD will be the main set-up man again after a triumphant return to Chicago last season (3.35 ERA, 57 K in 51 IP).
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NL PREVIEW (TEXAS-CHICAGO CUBS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Rangers-Cubs Preview* ======================
Texas (9-5) at Chicago (4-9), 2:20 p.m. EDT
The Texas Rangers appear poised to continue the interleague road success they've enjoyed in recent years, so they probably weren't too happy to see their latest chance in an NL park rained out.
The weather Thursday at Wrigley Field doesn't look any more promising.
The Rangers hope to have another chance for a sixth consecutive interleague road victory in this finale against a Chicago Cubs team looking to avoid a fourth straight defeat.
Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer, Derek Holland allowed two hits over seven scoreless innings and center fielder Craig Gentry ended the game with a diving catch to preserve Texas' 4-2 win Tuesday.
Wednesday's contest was rained out, and Thursday afternoon's forecast looks just as bad. Strong storms are expected throughout the day.
"Hopefully the weathermen are wrong, but they weren't wrong today," manager Ron Washington told the Rangers' official website.
The only other time the Rangers are set to be in Chicago in 2013 is an Aug. 23-25 visit with the White Sox, so making up one game - let alone two - may be challenging.
"The thing you keep coming back to is that both teams are playing in it," said Texas utilityman Jeff Baker, who spent parts of four years with the Cubs. "Yeah, you're probably not going to have your great individual performance that day but at the same time all that matters is beating that other team and going out there and scoring more runs."
The Rangers (9-5) have won 21 of 27 interleague road contests and own a 22-8 scoring advantage during a five-game winning streak at NL ballparks.
Beltre, who homered for the second time in 2013, is batting .434 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in his last 22 interleague games. He's batted .333 with five homers and 20 RBIs in 20 career games at Wrigley.
He's 3 for 6 against Carlos Villanueva (0-0, 0.64 ERA), who the Cubs will send to the mound after he was scheduled to start Wednesday.
The right-hander has allowed one run and nine hits over 14 innings in his first two starts, but Chicago relievers blew leads in both contests. He gave up three hits in 7 1-3 scoreless innings against San Francisco on Friday, but rookie Kyuji Fujikawa yielded three runs in the ninth before the Cubs (4-9) rallied in the bottom half to win 4-3.
"All we needed is the win," Villanueva said. "Personal stats, whatever."
He is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA as a starter against Texas.
Ex-Ranger Alfonso Soriano, 7 for 12 in the last three contests, is batting .412 during a 16-game hitting streak against Texas, and now he'll face Alexi Ogando.
Rather than sending Justin Grimm out Thursday, the Rangers will push him to Sunday in favor of Ogando (2-0, 1.08), who has looked good despite not pitching particularly deep in games.
The right-hander needed 98 pitches to get through five innings Saturday at Seattle, but only allowed one run and five hits while not receiving a decision in a 3-1 win.
"I thought I pitched well, but threw too many pitches," Ogando said. "... They battled and made me throw a lot of pitches."
Ogando, who has never faced the Cubs, is 3-0 with a 2.38 ERA in his last six road starts dating to August 2011.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 6:19:24 PM EST|