White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen heaped some heavy praise on Stephen Strasburg after the rookie sensation struck out 10 over seven innings of one-run ball on Friday night (via Elliott Smith of the Daily Herald).
“When you’ve got that kind of arm and you throw pitches for strikes,
obviously you’re going to be a top pitcher no matter what,” Guillen
said. “I think he’s maybe the best pitcher in the NL. Much respect,
because (Roy) Halladay is out there. I’ve never seen the kid from San
Francisco (Tim Lincecum) throw, (Johan) Santana’s out there, but this
kid is legit.”
Hey Ozzie, that Ubaldo Jimenez guy isn’t too bad, either. Still, it’s hard to blame him for getting caught up in the hysteria.
Strasburg has fanned 32 of the 72 batters (44 percent) he has faced in the major leagues and with that, he is already tied for third on the team in strikeouts. Seriously. For the sabermetric set, Strasburg has an xFIP (Expected Fielding Independent Pitching) of 1.44. As Larry David would say, that’s “pretty, pretty, pretty good.”
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.