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Looking ahead to Game 163

Sep 30, 2013, 11:31 AM EDT

Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays Getty Images

And you thought we’d have no baseball today. What a bonus for everyone who isn’t a Rangers and Rays fan. Rangers and Rays fans get heartburn to go along with it, and one of those fan bases will go to bed sad, so it’s something of a mixed bag.

But what we all get is David Price vs. Martin Perez. Which, on the surface seems like a bit of mismatch given that Price is the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner and Perez has 25 starts to his name. Perez, however, is 7-2 in last ten starts with 3.26 ERA while Price has struggled mightily against the Rangers. In eight starts against Texas he’s 1-4 with a 5.98 ERA. In Arlington — where he pitches tonight — his ERA is 10.26.

Also worth watching: Nelson Cruz, who returns to action for the Rangers following his 50-game suspension in the Biogenesis scandal. Cruz has had a lot of success against Price — 9 for 23 with three homers — and if he comes up big tonight you can expect a lot of people to ask whether it was appropriate for him to be eligible. Of course, people asking that will be ignorant of how 50-game suspensions actually work — Cruz has served his time so of course he should be eligible — but that sort of logic tends not to stop people from going crazy anyway.

So here it is, bonus baseball! One more winner-take-all affair. Grab your Alka-Seltzer, Rays and Rangers fans. Grab your popcorn everyone else

  1. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Ian Kinsler would like if it everyone could do the proper thing and take out a second mortgage so that they may attend tonight’s game. That way Ian Kinsler could have the crowd and praise that only Ian Kinsler deserves, whilst popping up with two outs and two men on.

    • coloradogolfcoupons - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      Right Fucking on! He practices his uppercut swing in the airplane toilets so it’s ready to go on road trips. At home, he has an old phone booth to practice in, and the windows are pristine and still original

  2. markofapro - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    GO RANGERS!

  3. unclemosesgreen - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Good luck to the floating devil carpets – they deserve to win based on commenter quality alone. I’ll bring my popcorn.

  4. Old Gator - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Popcorn check.

    Check!

  5. expodis - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    As a Twins fan and watching them play game 163 in 2008 and 2009, Rays and Rangers fan are in for a whole different brand of baseball. Its like fundamentals are being coached at its best, always loaded with close plays and nail biting moments, but there are some real ballsy and exciting moments throughout. The 2007 Padres/Rockies was a classic. Of course there is Bucky F****** Dent. Game 163 usually doesnt let people forget what they just watched, whether its a good or bad result for your team.

    • texassportsfan2 - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      As a Rangers fan, I can’t wait!

  6. indaburg - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    I work for a GI doctor who is also a hardcore Rays fan, and he seriously offered me a prescription for Nexium. I said, no. I’d prefer one for Xanax. When I started citing the numbers that enumerated how bad Price has been historically against the Rangers (WHIP 1.98 @ Arlington, 19 ER in 16.2 innings and so on), his answer was, “He’s due then!” That’s not how it works… Price isn’t pregnant; he’s not due. He’s owned.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      Owned? Damn, I thought Texas outlawed slavery years ago.

      • indaburg - Sep 30, 2013 at 6:56 PM

        Yeah, about a decade or so ago, I think.

  7. jcmeyer10 - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    As a Sox fan, I want position players pitching tonight and then again on Wednesday.

  8. paperlions - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    What is the over-under on number of outs given away by teams playing for one run? If the game is close throughout, you gotta figure there will be at least 6 bunts just to make sure a team doesn’t do something crazy like take a big lead.

  9. gloccamorra - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    So the season isn’t over yet! That’s why the ATH series should continue through the league championship series. Sure, the other sports writers will wax poetic in their long columns and articles, but there’s still room for Craig’s pithy comments that get down to brass tacks. Isn’t that what Hardball Talk is for?

  10. Detroit Michael - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    To find out when and on what network it was televised, I had to Google and look at it up Bleacher Report. Please don’t make me do that again, Craig!

    It’s 8:07 p.m. Eastern time on TBS, folks.

  11. Stephen Jay - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Does Game 163 go back to 25-man rosters, or do “September expanded roster” rules apply?

  12. beerbudsnbevo - Sep 30, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    Just turned on the coverage and saw that Keith Olbermann is doing the pre-game.

    I will be turning it of and playing Zappa plays Zappa real loud until the game comes on.

    Message to all the networks out there…

    There are a lot of us that change the channel the minute we see his smug, self important, hate the world, if you don’t agree with me you are stupid crap…

    Have him go back to Current… oh that’s right, Al Jazeera bought them, then fired the clown.

    What does that tell you.

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