TTB

Blogging about the 5x NL East Champion Phillies

Series Preview: vs Texas Rangers

PHI: 26-17, 1st in NL East; TEX: 23-21, 1st in AL West

When: May 20-22
Where: Citizens Bank Park (Philly, PA)

Probable Pitchers
Friday: Roy Halladay (5-3, 2.21) vs C.J. Wilson (4-2, 3.38)
Saturday: Cliff Lee (2-4, 3.84) vs Colby Lewis (4-4, 3.81)
Sunday: Roy Oswalt (3-1, 3.09) vs Matt Harrison (4-3, 4.37)

Broadcast Info
Friday, 7:05, PHL 17
Saturday, 7:10, FOX
Sunday, 1:35, PHL 17
All Games on 1210 AM

Player to Watch – 3B Adrian Beltre: Beltre was the biggest pick-up in the off season for the Rangers, who improved in fire power in a big way. Beltrea is leading the majors with 37 RBIs and a team-high 10 homers despite hitting a mediocre .255.

But his production is up, and has been a little better in clutch situations. He’s hitting .269 with five homers and 28 RBIs with runners in scoring position.

Beltre is a fine fielder at the hot corner. But what he brings to Texas in value is his bat. His power and hitting ability will drive this team’s success if he’s on.

Overview: The Rangers were put into an interesting situation this off season. They lost their ace arm and key to the World Series appearance, Cliff Lee, to free agency (!!!). But they added Beltrea, who has been very good for them so far.

Beltre isn’t the only person adding pop to the line up. Despite having a giant question mark slapped in the “position” column next to his name or worrying about being traded, Michael Young has been as good as ever this season for Texas. Young is hitting a team high .339 with two homers and 31 RBIs.

They also have guys like Elvis Andrus, Daniel Murphy and Ian Kinsler in their daily line up to provide production. But unfortunately for Texas, that production has been inconsistent, especially with the absence of their MVP outfielder Josh Hamilton.

Texas is sixth in the majors in batting average and is fifth in homers and runs. It’s much better than what Phillies fans have had to endure the past month.

They have a team that is 20th in runs, 16th in batting average and and astonishing 21st in home runs, especially in a hitters park like Citizens Bank Park. But despite that, they have the best record in the National League.

Part of this is due to a certain pitcher Texas lost along with his other friends. Lee has been a huge boost to the Phils pitching and is part of the reason this team has remained to be good despite the slump and the injuries.

Texas will get a first-hand look at the rotation this weekend as C.J. Wilson will face Roy Halladay in the series opener. The the Rangers will see their former team mate on Saturday and Roy Oswalt on Sunday.

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