By: Daniel Satter
Yesterday, the Rangers took Game 1 with a 5-3 victory. Now, Game 2 will be a tougher one for the Rangers to come out with a 2-0 lead, but it can be done with the pitcher they are sending to the mound today. The Rangers are going to send World Series Champion Cole Hamels (13-8, 3.65 ERA, 215 K’s) to face and control the Blue Jays’ offense. Gallardo quieted the Blue Jays offense, but will Hamels be able to do the same? Hamels did not face the Blue Jays this year, but in the past he has struggled in 4 starts with a 0-2 record and earned a horrendous 6.97 ERA. In addition, the Blue Jays are going to send the young phenom Marcus Stroman (4-0, 1.67 ERA, 18 K’s). Stroman has never faced the Rangers and will look to be a mystery to figure out for the Rangers’ hitters. Stroman will have a lot of heat on his shoulders today, but the young stud will try to overcome it. Rangers so far in the playoffs have trouble with starters they never seen. For example, Matt Moore of the Tampa Bay Rays pitched against the Rangers and they never seen him and got beat bad.
Next, the Blue Jays hitters will look to sit on Hamels fastball and drive it into the cheap seats. The Blue Jays are looking for some help in the lineup today, but Manager John Gibbons is wondering who will come through for the team. Today, Gibbons is going to start Chris Colabello at first base. Expect him to hit in the 6th or 7th spot in the lineup. Colabello has been clutch when his name has been called. Colabello has hit .321 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs. Look for Colabello to take Hamels deep and also Colabello has never faced Hamels. Now, the Rangers one hitter to look for will be Josh Hamilton. Hamilton is hitting .500 and picked up 1 RBI in 2 at bats against Stroman. Hamilton went 0-for-4 yesterday, but I expect that when he is facing a lefty. Well he has a right hander on the mound today and look for Hamilton to come out swinging at that first fastball down the middle. I Hamilton’s projected stats for today will be 2-for-4 with a solo blast and a RBI double.
Note: Chris Gimenez is getting the nod behind the plate today for the Rangers. Hamels and Gimenez have paired well so far. “Chris and I have been able to get on a really good page together,” Hamels said. “From the beginning we’ve had some hard luck and some learning lessons, but that’s what really does happen. So I think, just recently, with the past couple games, we’ve had a really good idea.”