Game 33, Mariners at Rangers
Vargas vs Feldman, 5:05 pm.
As I mentioned in the piece this morning, this is a brutal situation for Vargas to try to stake out a claim to a rotation spot. The Rangers are going to throw a line-up of seven right-handed hitters, Josh Hamilton, and Chris Davis at him. There’s simply no soft spots to let him work around guys who can hurt him. Everyone in this line-up can hurt him. Plus, it’s Texas, where the air is not exactly known for knocking down fly balls.
So, the M’s are going to have to put up runs tonight. Unfortunately, they’re facing yet another right-handed sinker ball guy, and this pitcher type is the one the M’s are least suited to hit. Just like Padilla, Colon, Ponson, Blackburn, and all the other right-handed starters of this ilk that have shut down the M’s, Feldman’s sinker is a pretty good pitch against righties and a meatball against lefties. The offense is going to have to come from Ichiro, Griffey, Branyan, and Chavez. Hopefully, they can get a couple home runs early and get into the Rangers bullpen.