jimmythegreek Posts:11418 Followers:383
On 07/22/2014 05:16 PM in MLB

TUESDAY FIRST 5 INNINGS PLAY (YTD 21-13)

Texas/NYY over 5 even:
After the Yankees (50-48) pulled off a weekend sweep in their final inter-league series home to Cincinnati (51-48), 5 committed errors gave last place Texas (40-59) a 4-2 win last night in the opener of a 4 game series. Miles Mikolas (1-2) earned his first win of the season scattering 2 runs on 4 hits over 7 1/3 IP. Joakim Soria earned his 17th save in 18 opportunities (.944) while Shane Greene (2-1) committed 3 of the pinstripes' miscues and took the loss. Greene yielded 4 ER over 5 2/3 IP in just his third start in the majors. Shin Soo Choo, Geovany Soto and Rougned Odor each had 2 hits and an RBI highlighting a 3 run 6th. Jacoby Ellsbury hit his 8th HR of the season and Beltran added a sac fly in the losing effort. This evening up in the Bronx game 2 features two starters who are struggling mightily over the past month or so.

Texas sends Nick Martinez (1-6 5.10) to the hill. The 23 year old right-handed rookie is making his first start since being put on the DL since the beginning of the month with a left side contusion. Martinez has not won since May 24th and has yielded 12 ER over his last 14 IP (7.71) in consecutive defeats to Detroit and Baltimore. Tonight he faces a Yankees lineup who is hitting just .252 and averaging a shade under 4 runs per contest despite spending half a billion dollars in the off-season on a roster upgrade. Long gone are the power days of 4 5 years ago where an ideal team would have slugged approximately 130 HR to this point compared in actuality to 84. Ellsbury (.291 8 46) leads the team in hitting and stolen bases with 27, second in the league to Houston's Jose Altuve's 41. Mark Teixiera (.231 17 48) is tops on the team in power numbers, but will be out of the lineup for at least the remainder of this series with a mild lat strain. Brett Gardner (.274 9 40) has shown quite a bit of pop in his bat for an outfielder hitting at the top of the lineup. Gardner also has 16 stolen bases but is also currently mired in a 2 for 21 slump (.095). Derek Jeter (.272 2 27) is still showing he can hit and play his position well even at the stages of his final season in pinstripes. Brian McCann (.242 10 41) has been nothing short of a huge disappointment his first season in the Bronx but has hit safely in his last 6 (.435). Carlos Beltran (.220 10 31) has been limited to DH duties and has suffered a wide variety of injuries while performing below career standards. Earlier today the Yankees traded Yangervis Solarte (.254 6 31), who has not seen much playing time as of late and a minor leaguer to SD for Chase Headley (.229 7 32). That could mean platooning with Kelly Johnson (.223 6 22) as NY has failed to see consistent production at the hot corner.

The Yankees counter with Chase Whitley (4-3 5.10) who after a very promising start has fallen on hard times as of late. The 25 year old rookie won an appearance in relief just before the ASB against Cleveland, but hasn't won a start since June 18th. Whitley gave up 3 runs on 5 hits in 4 IP in a loss to Baltimore on the last day of the first half of the season. He faces a Texas lineup that despite hitting a respectable .260 has also not showcased power, something in the past that kept them in contention in the AL West. Averaging about 4.1 runs per contest, their 70 HR rank next to last in the AL behind Kansas City (59). Adrian Beltre (.328 14 53) is 3rd in the AL in hitting and leads the Rangers in production although his numbers are slightly below average to this point. Alex Rios (.302 4 42) is out for a 3rd straight game due to an ankle injury but expects to return tomorrow night. As Ron Washington continues to play small ball Elvis Andrus (.265 2 23) is tops on the club with 20 stolen bases but also has been caught 10 times (.667). Andrus has hit safely in 7 of his last 8 but has not seen his average climb much over the past week. Leonys Martin (.267 5 28) is mired in a 5 for 28 slump (.179) and is second on the Rangers with 18 steals in 26 attempts (.692). Choo (.239 9 34) broke a 7 game hitless streak going 2 for 5 on Monday night but has clearly underachieved in a nightmarish type season for Texas. Of course it doesn't help much when Prince Fielder (.247 3 16) is lost for the season with a neck injury that required surgery. Kevin Kouzmanoff (.362 2 10) is recovering from back surgery and is not expected to be back in the lineup until late August.

We get a bargain price this evening at one of the league's launching pad for hitters. Even the blacktop area in center field is just 408 feet away from home plate, and hitters just love the short porch in RF at a generous 314. Left and left center could pose a challenge at 379 and 399 respectively in front of Monument Park, but we know that both these teams are quite capable of putting up some runs. That's even sans their power hitters from the past as well as two starters going head to head with hopes of finding their rhythm. The ball does carry well at night under a clear sky and light winds, and we think there's a lot more offense in store from this evening going for 9 of our last 10. Best of luck however you play!

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