BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 17: Pitcher Francisco Liriano #47 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photo during photo day at Pirate City on February 17, 2013 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
The Texas Rangers need to win Tuesday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and while they'll send rookie lefty Martin Perez to the mound, they'll be facing a quality lefty themselves in Pittsburgh's Francisco Liriano, who's a strong candidate for NL Comeback Player of the Year honors.
This season, Liriano is 15-7 with a 2.98 ERA this year for the upstart Pirates and has been a key piece to the success Pittsburgh has seen this year.
But for as bad as the Rangers' offense has been at times this year, including this current offensive funk they're in, they've consistently been good against left-handed pitching.
This season, the Rangers are 28-16 against lefties, good for tops in all of baseball. Their OPS against southpaws is .783, good for fourth in all of baseball. To add to the Rangers' chances on Tuesday, Liriano has been a completely different pitcher on the road this year, putting up a 1.21 ERA in Pittsburgh and a 4.36 ERA on the road.
Something's gotta give, and the Rangers hope it'll be their weak offensive output in recent games.