48.7 F
Los Angeles

Astros seeks to knock off Rangers in rubber game

For all the attention clubs give to analytics, Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker is quick to point out the basics.

“RBIs are the name of the game,” Baker said on the Astros pregame radio show. “The teams that get the big RBIs are the teams that win.”

The Astros lacked the big hit on Tuesday in a 4-3 loss to the visiting Texas Rangers. The American League West rivals have split the first two games of the series, which concludes on Wednesday in Houston.

The Rangers snapped a nine-game losing streak on Tuesday, with rookie Ezequiel Duran delivering a key, two-run double.

On Monday, it was the Astros who had the lone RBI hit, a single by catcher Martin Maldonado in a 1-0 win.

For the season, Maldonado has 38 RBIs and reaching 50 is realistic.

“The epitome of a pretty good year is driving in 50 runs,” Baker said. “Now he has 38, which is closing in on 50.”

In the series finale, the Astros are starting right-hander Cristian Javier (8-9, 3.07 ERA). The Rangers counter with rookie left-hander Cole Ragans (0-2, 4.42).

Javier will be making his 21st start and 26th appearance overall this season. In 120 1/3 innings, the 25-year-old has 157 strikeouts.

Over his last seven games, which includes six starts, Javier has been a bit unlucky. The native of the Dominican Republic is 2-4 with a 2.92 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 37 innings, including a WHIP of 0.95.

  Justin Verlander tosses 6 no-hit frames, Astros top Twins

Traditionally, Javier has fared well against the Rangers. This season, the Astros starter is 2-1 with a 3.27 ERA against the Rangers, and lifetime he’s 5-1 (3.02).

Ragans, the Rangers’ first-round pick in 2016, has been on the 15-day injured list since Aug. 26 with a left calf strain.

The rookie faced the Astros once, on Aug. 11 at Houston, his second big league start. He gave up five runs in 4 1/3 innings in a loss.

Texas outfielder Kole Calhoun has enjoyed success off Javier, batting .571 with three home runs and four RBIs in 14 career at-bats. Shortstop Corey Seager has two career homers off Javier in 14 at-bats.

For the Rangers, these final weeks are an opportunity not only to play the role of spoiler, but also to instill some priorities as the organization builds for the future.

The mindset interim manager Tony Beasley wants to change is the acceptance that starting pitchers don’t make it three times through the batting order.

There is plenty of statistical data that supports pulling starters after they’ve faced the lineup twice. Still, Beasley isn’t buying it, and doesn’t want his starters to think that way either.

“All the teams that are successful, (their) starters are putting in the work,” Beasley said in an MLB.com story. “And then the bullpen is finishing it off. We have some work to do in that area. We know that, but it starts with our mindset. We have to start expecting more.

  Red Sox, Enrique Hernandez agree to one-year, $10M extension

“The industry has kind of made two times through the order and not facing it a third time (a norm), and everyone is buying into it. But to me, those things are crutches.”


www.yardbarker.com

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Latest articles

Angels Stadium Seating Chart

Angels Stadium Seating Chart details you should know before buying a ticket. Angel Stadium of...

MLB 30 30 CLUB

This is exclusive list of 30 30 club MLB members. The most dynamic MLB players seem...

LA Angels aim to topple another AL East...

LA Angels aim to topple another AL East contender, host New York Yankees! The LA Angels...

Roger Clemens Career retrospective!

Roger Clemens career retrospective of one legend. Why is he not in Hall of fame?...

Subscribe for tips

More like this

World Series storylines: From Phils’ mentality to

Baseball loves its numbers, yet none of the sport's squadron of calculators and array...

Assessing the Milwaukee Brewers’ offseason outlook

The Brewers have often been competitive without being big spenders. They fell off that...

Great American Ball Park

The History of Great American Ball Park The Great American Ball Park is a Major...

Globe Life Field

The History of Globe Life Field Globe Life Field is a baseball stadium in...

Assessing the Chicago White Sox’s offseason outlook

Aside from a new manager, the White Sox don’t seem destined for a major...

Dodger Stadium Los Angeles

The History of Dodgers Stadium Dodger Stadium is a baseball stadium located in the Elysian...