Friday, 1:05 PM CST: Tim Wakefield vs. Robinson Tejeda
Saturday, 7:05 PM: Julian Tavarez vs. Kevin Millwood (0-1, 5.40 ERA)
Sunday, 7:05 PM: Curt Schilling (0-1, 11.25 ERA) vs. Vicente Padilla (0-1, 11.57 ERA)
Keys To Victory
1. Drive them in
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday afternoon in Anaheim, the Rangers went a grand total of 2 for 19 with runners in scoring position. They also managed just 15 hits for the series as opposed to 33 for the Angels. In all, it makes for a disappointing team batting average of .105 with men on base through the first three games of the season. As you saw with the Angels, some teams come out of the gates with all cylinders firing and others do not. You would hope that this weekend becomes time for the Texas bats to wake up and produce runs at the rate we know they can.
2. Better the 2nd time around
Robinson Tejeda will make his first start of the season tomorrow afternoon. The club hopes he'll ride the wave of his last spring outing into the regular season and continue the success he had after a call-up in 2006. As for Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla, they must rebound from rocky outings their first time through the rotation. On Monday, Millwood was relatively effective but threw a lot of pitches and only lasted five innings. Wednesday night, Padilla didn't make it through the fifth inning and allowed six runs on five hits. He also displayed some wildness by walking five Angel batters. Although the Angels have a good lineup, the front two guys in the rotation should be capable of better performances then that.
3. Tim Wakefield
The Rangers have hit at a respectable .284 clip off Wakefield in his career. However, the Boston knuckleballer has struggled historically during his performances at Rangers Ballpark In Arlington. In 15 games, he's been knocked around for 84 hits in 78.2 innings of work and an earned run average just below 6.00. The offense is due to have a breakout game, and with what should be an energetic crowd at the Ballpark, things are set up nicely for a continuation of this trend.