Texas Rangers (13-18) at New York Yankees (14-15)
Tuesday, 6:05 PM: Mike Wood (0-0, 3.12 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte (1-1, 3.00 ERA)
Wood did a commendable job in an emergency start last week. Against the Bronx Bombers last Thursday, he was able to keep the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Abreu, Johnny Damon, and Derek Jeter a combined 0 for 10 with two strikeouts thanks to a barrage of changeups and breaking balls . But in the end, some shoddy defense couldn’t hold up behind him. Now, with Kevin Millwood on the shelf for at least two starts, another strong showing from Wood and the Rangers could be looking at finding a permanent role for him in the pen. No current Ranger has been able to take Yankee starter Andy Pettite deep, but Mark Teixeira does have eight hits off the lefty in 16 trips to the plate.
Wednesday, 6:05 PM: Robinson Tejeda (3-2, 3.89) vs. Mike Mussina (1-1, 5.73)
Tejeda will have his start pushed back to Wednesday night thanks to a tender left hamstring and a couple other bumps and bruises. However, pitching coach Mark Connor implies that with Kevin Millwood also sidelined because of hammy issues, the decision about bumping Tejeda back is merely a precautionary one. He remains possibly the most effective pitcher in the starting rotation, but he needs a better performance this time around against the Yankees. Although he struck out six in 6.1 innings of work last week, he also threw two wild pitches and had a less than admirable ball to strike ratio (only 59 strikes among his 101 pitches thrown). He’ll oppose the vet Mussina, who came off the disabled list against the Rangers last week and shut them down over five innings of work.
Thursday, 12:05 PM: Brandon McCarthy (2-4, 7.96) vs. Chien-Ming Wang (1-2, 3.98)
Prior to last Friday, McCarthy hadn't pitched past the third inning in any of his past three starts, compiling a 25.50 ERA in those games. But with six innings of work and only two hits and a run allowed, McCarthy looked a lot better during his most recent outing. He did, however, walk four batters and allowed another homer, albeit the only run of the game. With only one strikeout, much of his success was due in part to good defense in the field behind him. There’s a consistently scary lineup waiting for him in Yankee Stadium this week, he’ll certainly have his work cut out for him. Wang, on the other hand, flirted with perfection against the Mariners last weekend. He’s faced the Rangers twice in his career and won both starts while posting a 3.21 earned run average.