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Game 65 Preview: Rangers at Yankees

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Mood Music - Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz

Tonight, the Yankees will welcome the AL West leading Texas Rangers, with big boned hurler CC Sabathia facing off against Alexi Ogando.  While most Yankees fans have become intimately familiar with the Hefty Lefty, Ogando has burst upon the scene in 2011, after working exclusively out of the bullpen in 2010 (He must have the mental toughness and demeanor of a Buddhist to have avoided spontaneous combustion after moving to the rotation).

Ogando boasts some sexy ESPN stats, coming into tonight's game with a 7-0 record and a 2.10 ERA, but the Yankees touched him up for 5 runs in 6.1 innings on April 17th, belting three of the eight home runs that Ogando has allowed all season.  Going a little deeper:

Ogando relies almost entirely on two plus pitches, a four seam fastball (which will sit at 93-95 MPH) and a slider for when he is ahead in the count.  To left handed batters, he will mix in the occasional change up, but often works off of a steady diet of fastballs.  As he doesn't surrender walks (1.99 BB/9), the strategy for the Yankee batters facing Ogando will likely be to hunt a fastball out over the plate and try to do some damage.

Offensively, the Rangers are a much more dangerous lineup with Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz playing, and CC Sabathia may need to match zeroes with Ogando.  As David Robertson pitched 1.1 innings in yesterday's game, the bullpen might be even lighter than usual.  The Rangers, however, are coming off series losses to the Tigers and Twins, so hopefully we've caught them at the right time.

Let's just hope we don't need to get any big outs with Boone and the MopsTM.  Gamethread at 6:30.

Call up Jesus Montero.