By Evan Brunell
Rays at Rangers, 7:07 p.m. ET, Rangers Ballpark, TNT
|1||Desmond Jennings||LF||1||Ian Kinsler||2B|
|2||B.J. Upton||CF||2||Elvis Andrus||SS|
|3||Evan Longoria||3B||3||Josh Hamilton||CF|
|4||Ben Zobrist||2B||4||Michael Young||DH|
|5||Johnny Damon||DH||5||Adrian Beltre||3B|
|6||Kelly Shoppach||C||6||Mike Napoli||C|
|7||Sean Rodriguez||SS||7||Nelson Cruz||RF|
|8||Casey Kotchman||1B||8||David Murphy||LF|
|9||Matt Joyce||RF||9||Mitch Moreland||1B|
|James Shields||RHP||Derek Holland||LHP|
Shields vs. Rangers: Shields' calling card this year has been an innate ability to complete games, shutting the door a league-leading 11 times. One of those complete games came against Texas, fresh off facing the club five days prior and going eight strong with no runs allowed. In the complete game on Sept. 5, he allowed just one run. So that's one run in 17 innings, striking out 13. Not shabby at all. All year long, Texas has tested the patience of left-handed pitchers, but are more vulnerable against righties. To that end, Murphy and Moreland, who don't play against lefties, are in the lineup against Shields.
Holland vs. Rays: Holland closed the regular season in fine fashion, sporting a 2.77 ERA over his final 16 starts. Unfortunately, his time against the Rays left much to be desired, giving up eight runs in 12 1/3 innings, walking six. The bright spot? He whiffed 16. In his most recent start against Tampa, Holland allowed four runs (three earned) in 6 2/3 innings, setting down nine Rays by way of the K. Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist have raked the left-hander over the coals the last three years.
|Full Playoff Coverage|
- Manager Ron Washington wouldn't commit to starting Moreland against right-handed pitchers, but has slotted him into the lineup. Unfortunately for Moreland, he's only collected one hit in 11 career at-bats against Shields, striking out four times.
- Kelly Shoppach's two homers and five RBI in Game 1 put him in exalted company. Only one other catcher has notched at least two blasts and 5 RBI in a postseason game, Johnny Bench of the Reds accomplishing the feat in Game 4 of the 1976 World Series. (Elias Sports Bureau)
- In the 2011 ALDS, the Rays fell to the Rangers in five games, with the visiting team winning each game, a record. The trend continued Friday when Tampa took Game 1 in Texas.