Game 106: Rangers-Angels (Dempster vs. CJ) …
The Angels meet the Rangers’ counter punch tonight, in a sense. Ryan Dempster, acquired at the final minute before Tuesday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, takes the bump after spending his first 15 seasons in the National League (and last eight with the Cubs). Albert Pujols, coming off back-to-back multi-homer games for the first time in his career, surely is familiar — and successful. In 67 career plate appearances against Dempster, Pujols has a .327/.433/.782 slash line.
“Dempster is a veteran, he knows what he wants to do, he’s very creative with how he pitches,” his Thursday opponent, C.J. Wilson, said. “He’s a control guy, throws any pitch at any count, that kind of thing. Some of the guys in here have faced him. Albert has faced him a ton of times. Albert’s got good numbers off him, so hopefully he can do something cool against him.”
Does it make Texas’ rotation better than that of the Angels?
Rangers’ rotation now: Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Dempster and Scott Feldman, with Alexi Ogando as insurance.
Angels’ rotation: Jered Weaver, Zack Greinke, Dan Haren, Wilson and Ervin Santana, with Garrett Richards as insurance.
“They’ve been looking for help like most teams are,” Haren said. “He’s a solid pitcher. I’m sure it’ll help their club. But I think we still like where we stand. We like our chances, that’s for sure.”
On to the lineups …
Pitching: LH C.J. Wilson (9-7, 2.88 ERA)
Pitching: RH Ryan Dempster (0-0, -.– ERA)
Some pregame notes …
- Richards was optioned, with David Carpenter coming up
- Trout was named AL Player of the Month and, for the third straight time, Rookie of the Month. (Weaver, however, got beat out by Jason Vargas for Rookie of the Month.)
- Back to the pinch-running situation. Mike Scioscia revealed pregame Thursday that Kendrick was bothered by a calf injury yesterday, which is why he didn’t start. Asked if that was the reason he didn’t pinch-run him for Morales, Scioscia said, “It was part of the equation, yes. But I think when push came to shove, if we were down a run, we would’ve looked at some other things.” Vernon Wells, of course, would’ve been an option regardless. Kendrick told reporters (I wasn’t there) that his calf was actually fine.
- Still no clarity on Scott Downs (strained left shoulder). Scioscia says it’ll take a week for them to get clearer indication. They’re waiting for the swelling to go down. This could take a while.
Some Angels.com links from Wednesday …
- Angels stunned, drop heartbreaker to Rangers
- Notebook, on August plans, the Greinke extension, Trout’s ties to Rickey Henderson, injury updates, etc.
- Preview, on the CJ-Dempster matchup
Some AL West links …
- Lyle: Rangers’ resiliency on full display
- Vargas named AL Pitcher of the Month
- A’s Brandon McCarthy takes “big step” in rehab start
And Ryan Tannehill joined the first team.