It’s the rubber game of an odd Texas visit this afternoon, with a pitching match-up of Ivan “Blame it on the Bossa” Nova vs. righty Adrian “Hope Delilah’s Not Around” Sampson.
The first game of the series saw the teams combine for six runs in the first two innings, then three in the next eight. The second game topped that, with seven runs in just the first inning, then four in the next eight.
If you were answering one of those number progression questions on an IQ test, the logical response would be that we’re due for eight runs in zero innings, then five through the next eight. I guess since it would still be technically zero innings at the time, having the Sox score eight before they make an out could fit the requirement. We can hope.
Looking at the season records, the pitching matchup favors the Rangers pretty strongly, given Nova’s 6.01 ERA. However, momentum may be on the side of the Sox, since Nova had a nice five-inning outing against That Other Team in Town last time out and Sampson, who was having a solid season, got his hair cut by the Red Sox and Indians his last two starts.
If you’re looking for another claim for the big mo, the Sox are 36-38, and the last three times they were two under .500 they won. Not much, maybe, but you take what you can.
The Sox lineup includes a real Ricky Renteria head scratcher. Yesterday Tim Anderson went 3-for-4, with a massive homer and four RBIs. That was in the sixth slot. So, naturally, Renteria has moved him down to seventh. Happy birthday, TA.
Nova faces a Texas lineup that is still missing All-Star finalists Joey Gallo and Hunter Pence, but includes six batters who will be hitting lefty against him.
Cabrera and Santana are switch-hitters, so they’ll turn around when Aaron Bummer makes his expected appearance.
The temp is forecast to be 89 when the game starts at 2:05 Central. There’s a chance of thunderstorms about an hour later, which, given the first two games of the series, should be in the bottom of the first.
WGN has the game for both boom and idiot boxes.