Rangers sticking with Tommy Hunter in Game 4


How quickly opinions change.

Down 2-0 in the World Series entering this busy sports weekend, some Rangers fans were pushing for the club to start ace left-hander Cliff Lee in Game 4.  But that kind of talk mostly took place before Texas won Game 3 and now it appears that manager Ron Washington will stick to his guns.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com says that Tommy Hunter will start tonight’s Game 4 in Arlington, Texas and that Lee will be held off until Game 5.

It’s the right move.  Lee has never pitched on three days’ rest in the postseason and wasn’t exactly a world-beater in his first 2010 Fall Classic start back in Game 1.  The extra day should help and he should dominate on the familiar Texas mound.

Hunter will need to be at his best tonight to accomplish the same goal.  He’s made two starts in these playoffs and allowed six runs in 7.1 innings.

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

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Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.