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Game 137: Rangers @ Twins

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First Pitch: 2:10 PM CDT
TV: WFTC 29
Radio: Twins Radio Network

Know Thine Enemy: Lone Star Ball


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Nick Blackburn 8-9 22 20 1 0 0 0 120.2 159 85 81 20 29 48 6.04 1.56

Originally slated to start on Friday, Blackburn was pushed back to today after throwing 19 pitches in the 13th inning of Thursday's game with the Tigers. He served up the gopher ball that caused the Twins to drop the game, but in his two starts since getting recalled from triple-A he's combined for 15.2 innings and just three runs. Even including his rough inning against the Tigers, hitters are batting just .190/.217/.293 since his return. That's a lot better than the .900+ opponent OPS he'd allowed prior to his demotion.

The Rangers are the team Blackburn faced off against in his first return to the Majors two weeks ago. If he can repeat that performance at Target Field today, he should come away with a win this time.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - C.J. Wilson 14-5 27 27 2 0 0 0 171.2 127 62 55 8 77 140 2.88 1.19

Wilson wanted to start for the Rangers, and he's earned the support this GM has given him. He's throwing the fastball far less often, has started throwing a bit of a cut fastball, and all three of his off-speed offerings have been good this year.

His velocity is down, which is understandable considering he can't just let it all hang out for an inning or two, which seems to have had just a slight effect on his strikeout rates. He still struggles with control at times and that leads to more walks than are preferred, but considering the lack of hits against him they don't hurt as much as they might most pitchers.

Wilson owns left-handed hitters, suppressing them to a paltry .124/.199/.163 line. Right-handers are doing better, but at .227/.327/.333 you'd have to say "better" is quite relative. This could be a tough one for the offense.

Speaking of offense, the Rangers are without Josh Hamilton and Elvis Andrus today. Meanwhile, the Twins get Jason Kubel back...although matchups insist its a waste versus left-handed pitching. Jason Repko gets the nod in right, although it sounds like he'll be gone soon enough as his wife is expecting...thus the Ben Revere callup (thanks, Roger!).


Lineup

Texas Rangers @ Minnesota Twins

09/05/10 3:10 PM EDT

Texas Rangers Minnesota Twins
Cristian Guzman - SS Denard Span - CF
Michael Young - 3B Orlando Hudson - 2B
David Murphy - LF Joe Mauer - C
Vladimir Guerrero - DH Michael Cuddyer - 1B
Nelson Cruz - RF Jason Kubel - DH
Ian Kinsler - 2B Delmon Young - LF
Mitch Moreland - 1B J.J. Hardy - SS
Matt Treanor - C Matt Tolbert - 3B
Julio Borbon - CF Jason Repko - RF