Saturday, April 2, 2011

Texas Rangers vs Boston Red Sox: Colby Lewis Looks to Keep the Rangers Rolling

On Friday afternoon, the Texas Rangers showed the Boston Red Sox why they were the defending American League Champions and why they had every intention of repeating.

Boston got two unearned runs in the very first inning, but the Rangers fought back and not only rallied once, but did so a second time to pull out a 9-5 win in front of a sold out crowd in Arlington, Texas.

Tonight, the team will be given their ALCS Championship rings. However, don't think for a second these players wouldn't exchange them for World Series rings in a second. They wanted it, but they weren't the better team.

Though this group of players don't look like contenders on paper, they certainly played like it on Opening Day.

The Rangers got solo home runs from second baseman Ian Kinsler and outfielder Nelson Cruz and a three run blast from newcomer Mike Napoli. But it was in the eighth inning that put the Rangers ahead for good.

With the game tied at 5-5, David Murphy was brought in to pinch hit and delivered a two-run double to give the Rangers a 7-5 lead over the Red Sox. Shortstop Elvis Andrus and outfielder Josh Hamilton followed with RBI doubles of their own, running off reliever Daniel Bard after giving four earned runs.

Closer Neftali Feliz, though not in a closing situation, came in and blew down the Sox to seal a very convincing win.

The Rangers will look to keep their momentum rolling as they will have right hander Colby Lewis on the mound but their offense will have the tough task of facing a tough pitching in Boston right hander, John Lackey.

Patience is key tonight for the offense. Take pitches, run the pitch count up, and take advantage of mistakes. They did a great job of that last night and they need a repeat tonight. Lackey isn't unbeateable as he showed last season but once he gets settled and into a groove he's one of the tougher pitchers to hit against.

As for Lewis, the Rangers need the kind of performance they saw from him last season.

In his career against the Red Sox, Lewis is 1-1 in four starts (26 IP) with a 3.12 ERA but has given up nine earned runs. Three of those have come from home runs.

Keep the ball down and don't allow Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to beat them. Sure he had 3 RBI last night, but in the end it didn't end up making a difference. He's not the only threat in the lineup but he's the biggest threat to hit the ball to all parts of the ballpark.

If he can keep his pitch count down and limit the walks, the Rangers offense will have the chance to put this game on ice early to give Lewis a little bit of a cushion.

This should be a fun one tonight. Game time is set for 8:54pm CDT and it should be a beautiful night for baseball.

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